Not good Engrish

via Gawker:

If only we could have sat in on the meeting where the marketing team for this Osaka department store came up with the idea for their “Fuckin’ Sale,” spotted early this month by a reader of Jake Adelstein’s Japan Subculture blog.

-There should be some cool English words on these signs.
-How about “Fuckin’ Sale?”
-What’s that mean?
-Fuckin’ means, like, really good. So it’s a really good sale.
-And there’s no other meaning to “fuckin’? Nothing at all that might embarrass us on the internet? Remember what happened with our Save-a-Shit-Ton promotion…


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  • Willsomers101

    Why would you have words in a latin alphabet  on a japanese department store window?. I know they use  english words on their cars, to make it seem the vehicles are exported,  a bit like fancy  restaurants here might use french on the menu.

    But I guess this will run on TV3 s late news , after they steal it from you

  • Vlad

    I lived in Japan for 6 years, just love this kind of thing, they like the sound & look of English, it doesn’t have to really mean anything.  Before you all get too snooty about it, how much Japanese do you speak & what do you think the kanji on your T-shirt means?  

    • BD

      Pretty sure they are “Fuckin” in Japan and have done so for a longtime.

    • anonymous

      Vlad, nice call …
      had a friend that did a years exchange in Japan and sent back photos of stores with names like “Cat Jumps Dog” and “Handkerchief Sunshine”. Seriously.

      Also, one of my favorite LOLs are people stupid enough to get a foreign language tattooed on themselves or, to a lesser extent; wear it on a T-shirt without checking very, very carefully with a reputable source or trustable friend.  Arabic, Japanese, Russian and Chinese are the most egregious embarassing “not-what-I-thought-it-was”. But I’ve also seen both obscene and very amusing words in french, italian and latin printed on the t-shirts and tops in which their unsuspecting owners are swanning round.  

  • Kthxbai

    Vlad – true about the kanji on the T-shirt.  My kanji reading abilities are pretty minimal, but I’ve seen a few alarming ones.  And tattoos.

    • Vlad

      That is so right, I saw someone not so long ago with a kanji tattoo that she thought meant Gypsy in Japanese, well in a way it does, but it reflected badly on both cultures because it was an insulting term for a lower caste person and would no doubt qualify her for a rubber glove search in customs if she ever visited Japan. 

    • anonymous

      Oh, I see you got there well before me Kthxbai…. Good call! 

  • Vlad

    Unfortunately they are usually too polite in Japan to deal to gaijins on T-shirts, but I did know a particularly obnoxious American who worked in China whose business card’s reverse side Chinese translated as “fool”. 

  • Vlad

    He didn’t find out until after he got the elbow.

    • Pharmachick


  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of the time I once saw a young woman in Malaysia wearing a T-shirt with the words: “Fuck you you fucking cunt”. If only she knew what those words meant!

  • ConwayCaptain

    My late wife taught English in Japan in 1979.  She spoke Fluent French and Japanese and had an MsC in Analytical Chemistry.  She saw this Japanese girl walking towards her and it was obvious it was lines and lines of English words and it said Fuck You Fuck You Fuck You etc etc

  • Steve and Monique.

    Come on Briscoes,you should run a fuckin sale to,or should that read another fuckin sale.proberly more appropriate.Go Japan,Domo arigato.