Time for Western nicknames like Brit and JT for Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake to make way for Chinese monikers like “Queen of Starbucks” and “J Boss”.
The word “transformer” does a lot of transforming in these languages!
Most schools expect their students to attend classes punctually and students are commonly penalized when they fail to do so. At a certain school in China, a teacher used to punish his students by making them write English sentences when they were late for class, until he came across the “most complicated” Chinese character, which now has become an effective measure in keeping his students on the ball where punctuality is concerned.
If you’ve ever faced such a punishment and felt that writing “I will not be late for class again” over and over again was a dreadful experience, try writing this!
We’ve talked before about some of the reasons why bizarre English signage pops up in Asia. One of the most common causes is a fundamental difference in the way sentences are structured between English and other languages. Automated translations programs, which aren’t nearly as well sorted out as many monolingual users believe, are also among the usual suspects.
That said, looking at a flawed translation is sort of like performing an autopsy, in that sometimes there’s a limit in what it can tell you. Just like the medical examiner might say, “Well, all the baby spiders hatching inside the subject’s eyeball definitely killed him, but I’ve got no idea how the eggs got in there,” there are times like these when we look at some garbled English, and, just like we can’t stifle our chuckles, we can’t imagine why the translation went flying off the rails, or if it was even on them to begin with.