Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Joys of Japan: Engrish

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Just what is Engrish anyway?

Engrish is JOB SECURITY! Well, it is for me anyway.

Also known as Japlish or Japanglish, Engrish is the Japanification of the English language. Its use in Japanese advertisement and graphic design provide a constant source of comic relief for those of us in Japan that can or care to read it ( let alone try to understand what it's all about) .

In the words of Matsumo, Japanese High School English Teacher Extrordinaire, 'the English language is used for fashion, not for communication, here in Japan!'

Why Engrish? Well, phonetically, the Japanese language has no hard 'r' sound. Instead they use a very soft r-l combo, which results in their inability to discern the difference between the two sounds (Unless, of course, they are repeatedly exposed to it, and taught to recognize the difference. That's where I come in!) One famous example of this confusion is rice and lice. The most famous, of course, is Engrish.

Let's Enjoying Engrish!


pAnDaR~ said...

hehe, a topic close to heart that i was just telling my housemate about.

engrish is not just something that happens in japan, but elsewhere in asia and perhaps other various countries. they come in different names, such as chingrish, spanglish, singlish and what not. the only combining factor is that the speakers of them "dissected" form of english actually intended to speak proper english at some stage in their lives.

the various engrish forms ended up being their own identifying factor (who could forget singlish?). while some would choose to call it slangs, and compare it with aussie english, american english and what not, i do admit, parts of it are more for fashion reasons.

don't know if you actually read blogs, i am kinda addicted to them as i like to read alot. singaporeans, for example, have some of the blogs totally written in engrish that it becomes a pain to read, because they think it's "cute".

for example: i love you = eiii wub eeuu...

feel my pain T_T

Anonymous said...

as an esl instructor, i hear and read engrish on a daily basis. love it.