Gratuitous English: Real Life
- Aya Hirano, voice actress for Haruhi Suzumiya, wore a shirt saying "Did You Cum Twice Too?" and "Feel so dirty!!! I need a Tongue Bath!" at an official concert. No one is really sure if she knew what they meant or not.
- As a general rule, Germans LOVE their Gratuitous English almost as much as the Japanese. Since both languages are very closely related (the Angles and the Saxons were German tribes before they settled England—they were from Angeln in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony, respectively), English words integrate very well into the German language and while many words in both languages are almost or completely identical, some similar-sounding words mean very different things. They are known as Falsche Freunde in German and False Friends in English. In General, using English words is the same as using Xtreme Kool Letterz.
- The most infamous example is of German discount store chain Lidl once advertising "body bags". They meant backpacks. Many, many producers still call their backpacks "body bags". Doubly ironic since "rucksack", the German term for the bags, is also used in English. It is weird that they messed this up, since Rucksack, the German word, is composed of Ruck+sack, Ruck coming from Rücken (back) and sack, which is relatively self-explanatory. Therefore, the literal translation should also be backpack or back-sack.
- The German word for a cell phone is Handy, which is even pronounced English, but a completely new German invention. Meaningful Name, much? Stephen Fry, by the way, finds it hilarious. For those foreigners out there, handy has another meaning rather than "useful". It is NSFW.
- Technical inventions are almost never translated into German. At least since the '90s, they are always called by their English name.
- German technical terminology is heavily influenced by English. Psychology scholars routinely create "Denglisch" words to replace perfectly good German words: "encode" is "kodieren" in German, but rely on psychology majors to use the redundant "enkodieren"; also, psychologists have imported the phrasal structure of the verb "remember" for use with the German equivalent - in German it should be "sich an etwas erinnern" or "sich einer Sache erinnern" (similar to "remind oneself of something"), instead they use "etwas erinnern" which sounds as strange to the ears of German non-psychologists as "remember oneself of something" would in English.
- Similarly, the use of "realisieren" (to realize) in the common English sense of "to become aware of something" has started to infiltrate German and supplant other existing expressions.
- Job titles are more and more translated into English, even though studies show that Germans are reluctant to apply for a job that is given in the ad as, say, "Key Account Manager".
- There are also some cases where English syntax is used together with German words. In the recent years it has become popular to say "etwas macht Sinn" instead of the correct syntax "etwas ergibt einen Sinn" to express "something makes sense" (sense is countable in German, but not in English (like fish,sheep,...)).
- The German verb "kontrollieren" is often wrongly used in the same context as the English "to control". O.K. the words have some overlapping meaning, but there is a big difference. The German "kontrollieren" means to get information about something without influencing it (similar to "to check" or "to supervise"), usually verifinging if something is in the correct state. The English word "to control" in most cases means to command/rule/drive something. This also increased heavily in recent years. The compound word "controlcharacter" is (correctly) translated to "Steuerzeichen" in a manual for a DOS-program, but may be translated to "kontrollcharakter" (verifying personality) in a manual for a Windows-programm. As a genral rule : If you translate the verb "to control" to German, then translate it to "steuern" and not to "kontrollieren".
- Though Gratious English is very often used by German media or some uneducated people, there are very much language-purists in Germany who see a serious menace in Anglicisms and wrong syntax. Most people with at least some eduction or elder people are highly aggravated by the use of English words, syntax and pronunciation in German. This also spreads to names, someone who has an English name like Kevin, Justin is often considered to be white trash (even worse are Aerith and Bob-names ), while having a Germanic (or at least Hebrew or Roman) name is considered to be someone smart. This phenomenum even has even its own name : KEVINISMUS - the inability to give children a human name. Though the word "Kevinism" comes from the German Uncyclopedia, the word is used in serious research about naming schemes.
- Around 2012, German merchants apparently conspired to introduce the word "Sale" for discounts and allowances, even though existing German terms such as "Angebot", "Aktion" or "Rabatt" aren't much longer. It was later mentioned on radio how somebody's boyfriend assumed "Sale" to be a hip brand.
- It goes the other way pretty often, too, especially where tattoos are concerned. The website Hanzi Smatter shows photographs of Chinese and Japanese characters used for shirts and tattoos and the like. It's Engrish put on its head.
- Car stickers as well. Especially funny if the Gratuitous Japanese is on an American or European car.
- Interestingly, there's also a growing trend for gratuitous English tattoos in China...
- Perhaps the funniest of the Engrish.com examples is Dick and Uprise, simply because it's impossible to tell what meaning was supposed to be conveyed there. (Possibly "Enterprise").
- The interesting speech held by Ingrid Antičević Marinović in the European Parliament, is full of gratuitous pronounciation and had people in Croatia who speak English pulling their hair. This is what it sounded like. This is what she meant to say: [our tasks are] to combat corruption, rule of law, to reform judiciary, and so on, but we are aware, and we are aware to meet our commitment to our citizens, to resolve, to preserve, and even more to develop our? rfa? state. I think that it's our task in Croatia and in the whole Europe, because people must trust us. Thank you. - During the same day there was already a Gangnam style and Harlem shake parodies of the speech, and the saddest thing is, she could have spoken in her mother tongue with professional translators translating in English. When teenagers in Croatian schools speak better English than the politicians, one has to wonder where the country is going.
- In a similar vein, several years ago, Slovakia's then Minister of Economy Ľubomír Jahnátek was ridiculed for his hilariously feeble English pronunciation when he appeared in a welcome ad for an international economic conference. Observe... He was trying to say "We politicians will be there, on our behalf and together with our own and foreign experts, especially from the EU countries. We will try to find the best solutions and deadlines for Slovakia. For us.". Predictably, the "Vee Politishens" speech soon became a nationwide meme and has even stayed popular since then, often being invoked anytime a Slovak MP shows weak foreign language skills.
- French PM Raffarin's "Win ze yes, need ze no. To win! egens ze no." (When the yes needs the no, to win against the no.) during the leadup to the (non-)ratification of the European Constitutional Treaty in 2005.
- There's a Norwegian band, created for a children's talent show, called the Black... Sheeps.
- "Modern Hebrew" in general. If you don't know a word and it is something modern, just elongate the vowels and say it with a Sephardic Hebrew accent.
"How do you say "Open the window" in Hebrew?"Uphen de vindoh"
- There's a joke:
- Allegedly, in Israel, the back axel of a car is called a "beckexel", while the front axel is called a "beckexel kadmoni" meaning a front "beckexel", meaning a "Front Back Axel"
- Happens a lot in Quebec and other French speaking parts of Canada (such as some areas of New Brunswick and Ontario), along with Gratuitous French for the English speakers. For instance, many French speakers will refer to a waste can as "le garbage" rather than "la poubelle", though garbage is usually pronounced "gar-BAA-ge" rather than the English "gar - bidge".
- As noted, Quebec English is not devoid of French influence: for instance, convenience stores are known as dépanneurs, or deps for short, in both Quebec English and Quebec French.
- In France the habit of using English loanwords, adapted for French pronunciation, is both frowned upon by the Académie Française who made it its job to safeguard the French language... and quasi-universally widespread, in some fields perhaps more so than in Quebec and Belgium. Most movie titles which are translated into French for distribution in Canada aren't translated for distribution in France (i.e., "La Matrice" is known in France simply as "Matrix", pronounced ma-TREEX). It's also particularly notable in technical vocabulary, so much so that French people will use an adapted English loanword (say, "mail", pronounced mel, for "e-mail") until the Canadians coin something (in this example, "courriel", for "courrier électronique", which literally means "electronic mail"). Or "pourriel", which in France is just "spam", "gratuiciel" for "freeware", etc. Then they'll just keep using the English word, and only use the newly coined word in more formal settings, if at all.
- And then there's the expressions like "swag", "yolo", "cool", "frais" (literal translation of, and used in the same context as, 90's "fresh"), "selfie", "workshop" (but only in the yuppie meaning).
- Although there is some kind of "you have to translate the slogan" rule in that in advertising and even on its products, McDonald's will keep the name of its burgers in English (or Translated To The Same Language in English, as with the Royal Cheese)... and then provide a footnote translating what the slogans mean. Hence: "Flurr'it yourself"* (*"fais-le toi-même"), or "CBO: Chicken Bacon Oignons"* (*"chicken = poulet")note .
- In Scandinavia, commercials, even store windows are in English. This is meant to be cool and exotic, but studies in Norway suggest that most people actually prefer ads in their own language and that messages have a stronger impact if delivered in one's native tounge.
- The oldest pizza delivery place in the Czech Republic is called "Pizza Go Home".
- One Chinglish fire extinguisher sign (providing the page image for "Blind Idiot" Translation) says "Hand Grenade". Another says "Forbid to embezzle fire apparatus".
- On the label of a bottle of (what appear to be) herbal pills, the following warnings are given the greatest emphasis:
The condition may not fit the constitution and rarely. The use of this product, diarrhea, vomiting, and if the Case of modulating body rash, please discontinue use immediately.
If you are pregnant or nursing, please do your children.
In consultation with our doctors, If you are taking your medication, please enjoy.
- On the shopping site proffering this item, not much is conveyed by long paragraphs of boilerplate, other than an evident horror of the possibility someone might take offense at...well, anything. Same spiel concludes with the peremptory admonition, "About three months into the bottle type bag also!". The legend "Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd." clashes—at first glance—with a product touted as "Health Food Made in Japan," at least for Western customers who firmly associate Fuji Ltd. with photography, unaware of the corporate behemoth's likely diversification.
- One neofascist political party in post-Mussolini Italy was known to sprinkle English into its slogans, perhaps as a way of mocking Americans. One slogan, for example, denounced "l'idiozia dell'American Way of Life."
- The people of Thailand are surprisingly fluent in English, and evidently use it casually in Westernized or tourist areas. Unfortunately, they do not tend to know how to avoid Accidental Innuendo, as an advertisement for donkey rides once read "Would you like to ride on your own ass?"
- Common in Cantonese due to Hong Kong being a British colony in the past, in contrast to Mandarin Chinese where it is almost nonexistent. For example, a baby in (informal) Cantonese is "BB", as in, that is how it's actually written, there aren't Chinese or Cantonese characters for it.
- In Navajo, and presumably other Native American languages, lots of more modern words don't translate over. If you're driving over the rez and listening to the Navajo-language radio, it's not uncommon to be able to understand nearly a full quarter of an advertisement for things like a video game store or the radio station.
- Strictly speaking, in Navajo, anything can be translated, but it takes a long time—the Navajo for "tank" (as in the vehicle) is "chidí naaʼnaʼí beeʼeldǫǫhtsoh bikááʼ dah naaznilígíí" and literally means "crawling cart with a large causer-of-explosions that you can sit on and ride". Hence why most of the time they just say, e.g., "nitank yá'át'ééh" ("Nice tank.")
- The same applies to the Nguni and Sotho language groups native to South Africa. In Sepedi/Sesotho Sa Leboa, for example, we have "khomphutha" for "computer" and (less obviously) "mmotoro" for "car", while in isiZulu "ice cream" is commonly taught to students as (the slightly incorrect) "iAyisikhulimi" - phonetically similar enough to confuse the Zulu for English, despite how mangled the written form seems.
- This◊ menu card supposedly translated for tourists. You'll notice that by saying "He/She came" they wanted to say "Wine".
- All too common in Brazil, to the point that politicians have proposed laws to forbid foreign words being used in advertising.
- The Philippines, being the largest English speaking country in Southeast Asia, is rife with these, in so much as it spawned the term "taglish" or a combination of Tagalog and English. Thus, it is not unusual to hear things like "Magsho-shopping" (Going shopping) and "Ise-send" (will be sending) in conversation especially with teens.
- In response to a game-winning home run by Manny Ramirez, a Taiwanese baseball commentator cried "GONE! JUST LIKE THE EX-GIRLFRIEND WHO WILL NEVER RETURN!"
- Similar to other incidents above, Ana Botella (The mayor of Madrid at the time) gave a horrible speech in English where she defended the candidature of Madrid as the Olimpic venue of 2020. This made her the butt of thousands of jokes and parodies including one where she gave the speech in Braveheart.