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An example of Engrish in Sasebo, Japan.
A sign in a toilet in Shanghai, instructing (in Engrish) people to put used paper tissue in the wastebin

Engrish refers to non-standard variations of English used in East Asian countries. The term arose by replacing the L in English with an R and is caused by the lack of a phoneme corresponding to the English L in Japanese.[1] While the term may refer to spoken English, it is more often used to describe written English. Engrish can be found in many places, including signs, menus, and advertisements. Terms such as Japlish or Janglish for Japan, Konglish for Korea, Singlish for Singapore, and Chinglish for China are sometimes used to refer to the specific varieties of Engrish found in these countries.

Contents

Pop culture

Engrish features prominently in Japanese pop culture. Japan has acquired a great deal of vocabulary from the English language, and many popular Japanese songs and television-show themes feature disjointed phrases in English amongst the otherwise Japanese lyrics. Japanese marketing firms helped to create this popularity, and have subsequently created an enormous array of advertisements, products, and clothing marked with English phrases that seem highly amusing or inexplicably bizarre to those proficient in English. These new Engrish terms are generally short-lived, as they are used more for fashion than meaning.

Engrish was frequently found in many early Japan-produced video games due to poor translation. One well-known and popular example of Engrish in pop culture is the video game translation phenomenon All your base are belong to us, which also became a meme. Well-known fictitious uses of Engrish include NewsRadio episode "Super Karate Monkey Death Car", wherein Jimmy James is forced to publicly read his autobiography after it had been published in Japanese and translated into English. The song "Let's Fighting Love", used in the episode "Good Times With Weapons" of the Comedy Central series South Park satirized poorly-translated opening theme sequences sometimes shown in anime.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Urban Dictionary: Engrish", [1], Urban Dictionary LLC.

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Etymology

From the mispronunciation of the word "English" common to Japanese speakers who have difficulty distinguishing "l" and "r" sounds.

Proper noun

Singular
Engrish

Plural
-

Engrish

  1. Ungrammatical or nonsensical English found in East Asia, especially Japan.

Usage notes


Simple English

Engrish is a word that is used to talk about types of the English language with grammar mistakes in them. Engrish can be found in East Asian countries, and also many places in other places where a lot of East Asians live. Engrish has been found on many things from poorly translated signs, menus, and manuals to strangely worded advertisements, food items, and strange t-shirt slogans. Engrish also sometimes happens when a word or sentence is badly translated on the Internet.

The name "Engrish" comes from the fact that some languages, such as Japanese, do not have separate sounds for "R" and "L."









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