I’m sure everyone reading this will know about the phenomena of Engrish and have seen some pictures. Living here is hard to ignore it but I never seem to run into the more extreme examples that you seem to see around the shoes web.
Now, I’m no language snob, as long as the message is there and understandable, the language has done it’s job. I’m not going to point out every little error someone makes, especially when my Japanese is so bad. When you run into things like this sign though, you just have to despair.
For those who don’t know AEON is a chain of English schools here in Japan which, as far as I’m aware have a fairly good reputation. God knows how it can keep that reputation when it has a bloody English error in it’s slogan. I was actually offered an interview with this company back when I was still in England. I knew something was up when they told me that there would be no more interviews in London but suggested that I go to one in New York.
Sure, that’s not out of my way at all! Who can afford to go to New York just for an interview?
Imagine though that I had got over the pure oddity of travelling all the way to New York for a job interview for a job based in Japan and made a holiday out of it. How sick would one feel, after the stress of the interview and the money spent on air fares to America and Japan, to be confronted with the words HEARTFUL ENGLISH as you begin your first day of teaching the language?
I won’t write the words to describe how I would have felt here, mainly because it would be pretty STOMACHFUL ENGLISH.
Confectionery for the fairer sex.
For a country so obsessed with recycling, the amount of packaging used here is ridiculous. Today I bought a bottle of wonderful Calpis and it was put in a plastic bag. I looked at him, he looked at me, we both smiled, he said “Wakarimashita!” and took the bottle out of the bag. Only to precede to get some sticky tape with Family Mart written on it and stuck it on the bottle. Obviously one piece of sticky tape won’t really matter but how much plastic is used up in this nation in a day by this process alone?
I bought a ticket to a concert a little while ago, first it was printed out, placed in an envelope, sealed in plastic and then finally put in a bag. Hell, food as well, all vegetables are singularly vacuum packed and each biscuit is individually wrapped inside the main packet.
No wonder this country is so militant about recycling. They produce mountains of pointless waste.
Here, like other countries, saying your products are eco-friendly is very popular with housewives who want to do their bit for the environment.
When I first bought McDonald’s in Japan I was shocked to find that after the food was put in the take away paper bag, the drink was placed a different paper bag and both were planted in a plastic bag. Now however, in a wave of glory, they stopped putting things in plastic bags and have embossed the words ‘This is ECO Style’ on the side of their paper bags.
Well done for blazing a trail for the environment there McDonald’s. Saving the world by finally doing the same thing you have always done every-bloody-where else. Whoopie-do.
In all fairness not too many of the blogs I read on the interwebnets seem to been putting up a post such as this, either that or I haven’t noticed.
Anyway my new year’s resolutions this year are very simple.
1) Learn more Japanese
I suck at learning languages, I say this because to learn a new language requires constant practice and I don’t. I am an incredibly lazy person and I really should convert more of my loaf time into constructive time. Maybe I can set a certain amount of time everyday (except Mondays of course) to language learning. I’m not sure how long I will be able to stick to such a plan though, maybe I could give 100 yen to a random charity every time I don’t bother. There is nothing like the threat of punishment to get me to do something.
2) Get a new flat
While it is good that the company I work for sort out accommodation for you before you get to Japan, they overcharge for it considerably. So I need to find a new place just because I feel like I’m being exploited a bit. Getting a new flat is no easy task though, there are deposits and key money to pay, which could total about 3-6 months worth of rent. Most apartments come unfurnished too, which means buying a whole host of furniture. Not to mention guarantors to find, which my company refuses to do.
That’s about it really, I don’t ask much of myself so hopefully I won’t be too disappointed in myself.