Archive for Language and advertising

Home party

Recently, Tong Wang's husband told her that he would not be home for dinner because he was going out with friends to this place:

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Tangut beer

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Q-TAXI

From a correspondent in Taiwan:

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Diacriticless Vietnamese on a sign in San Francisco

Charles Belov sent in this photograph of a sign posted on the Pho 2000 restaurant on Larkin Street in San Francisco:

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Biscriptal ad in the Hong Kong subway

Jenny Chu spotted this ad from a campaign for Nescafe currently being shown in the Hong Kong MTR:

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Stylistic preferences in English and Chinese

This is from an ad for a new apartment building in University City next to Penn:

Wèi nín xià gè rénshēng jiēduàn ér zuò de gōngyù

为您下个人生阶段而作的公寓

"Apartments made for the next stage of your (honorific) life"

Here's the English version from the same website:

Apartments for the next phase in life

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Sorrbucks

Paul Midler submits this one from South China:

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Darlie toothpaste

When I was teaching in Taiwan in 1970-72, there was a well-known brand of toothpaste called Hēirén yágāo 黑人牙膏 ("Darkie Tooth Paste").  Not only was the name strange, the packaging featured an image of what looked for all the world like Al Jolson in one of his blackface performances.  Naturally, I was scandalized by this, but when I asked my Taiwanese friends about it, they didn't see anything wrong with the name and said that it made sense from an advertising standpoint because the man had gleaming white teeth and the blackness of his skin made them seem all the brighter.

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Winnie meets Oreo

This just in from Mark Metcalf in Beijing:

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Fake Ritz and phony Oreo

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Sexist tech ad

The news about sexism in China's high tech industry is out and it's all over the internet:

The most damning account of all comes in Lijia Zhang's "Chinese Tech Companies’ Dirty Secret" (New York Times Opinion, 4/23/18), which includes a video presentation.  At 1:34, there's a job ad from the Chinese tech company Meituan which is so disgusting that I've purposely put the screenshots on the second page.  (What follows in the video is even more repulsive.)  I didn't want to pass up the Meituan ad altogether, however, because it does have an interesting linguistic hook.

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"Subway" in Chinese

Jeff DeMarco saw this sign in Chengdu:

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German with pseudo-Vietnamese diacritics

Klaus Nuber spotted this poster of an ad in Germany with German text spruced up with Vietnamese diacritics:

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