Intentional Engrish for Funny
"CONGRATULATIONSSS! YOU HAVE WIN!"Describe of Intentional Engrish for Funny to Here. This is writing anything in the style of a "Blind Idiot" Translation or Translation Trainwreck, to make it funny, due to the unintentional hilarity of those tropes. Typical "Engrish" is the most popular style, particularly using the infamous opening of Zero Wing as a template. Just have fun with improper placing of articles and prepositions, screwing up plural and singular forms, throwing in Blunt Metaphors Trauma terms, or just use the wrong word for what the sentence calls for. Often this can be done by doing a deliberate Recursive Translation. A Sub-Trope of Stylistic Suck. Compare Strange Syntax Speaker ("Engrish" is an intentional part of the character's speaking style). Contrast Purple Prose, Beige Prose.
open/close all folders
- Appears in some spam for "male enhancement products": "Present to the girlfriend unforgettable night! Make happy the girlfriend! Charge by sexual energy!" note
- This ad for an anti-dandruff shampoo by Head and Shoulders in Brazil is basically this, but mixed with some Portuguese. It features Joel Santana, a football trainer who has achieved memetic status from his funny sounding (but still quite understandable) Engrish, as first shown in this interview.
Anime & Manga
- The Mid-Childan Intelligent Devices from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha spoke odd English in the first season, probably because the writer just couldn't be bothered with proper grammar (Raising Heart's "I can be shot"). However, it stuck and the Devices nowadays are unimaginable without a healthy dose of slightly broken English dialogue.
- Angel Beats!: TK's catchphrasiest Catch Phrase, GET CHANCE AND LUCK!! Which is a reference to the same "Blind Idiot" Translation in the ending theme of City Hunter.
- Hilariously, the official sub misses the point, and partially corrects the grammar to "good chance and luck." And it still doesn't make any sense.
- Used in the dub version of the Axis Powers Hetalia anime. Japan always speaks Engrish, while characters like Russia and China occasionally get this treatment as well.
- Puni Puni Poemi: "Banana! Banana!" "Cucumber... eggplant." "Caviar!" "Papaya..." "GIANT ASPARAGUS!"
- Azumanga Daioh:
- Miss Yukari is "supposedly an English teacher", but every time she speaks English it's with a very thick accent. "Oh yah, great! Fan-tas-teek!"
- In one episode, Chiyo-chichi comes to Osaka in a dream and attempts to speak English: "Hallo, everynyan! How ah you? Fine, sank you! I wish I were ah burd!"
- In one episode, Tomo finds a photograph of a woman dropped by Mr. Kimura, who explains she's "Mai waifu."
- Kimi ni Todoke: Chapter 69 has Ryu trying to say 'preserved'; he ends up just saying 'perverved,' which confuses Chizuru enormously.
- Parts of the ending theme for the first season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex "Lithium Flower" sounds odd to native English speakers ("she's so number nine" anyone?), but it was written and performed by an American singer.
- The anime version of Excel Saga had its fair share of gags involving deliberately terrible English:
- At the end of the third episode, Excel is interrogated by soldiers speaking outrageously bad English. "Hwat is yo porpoise?" "Commandah, she's got it!"
- The first Recap Episode featured a replay of one of the "Beautiful Theater" segments from episode eight, badly-dubbed into English. "You give... chewing gum?"
- Episode 17 sees Excel and Hyatt on a mission to the United States, where Excel tries to communicate with some street thugs in their native language: "Hello, Merry Christmas! I'm, uh, Excel! You are dog!"
- Magical Pokaan did an entire episode with the characters speaking almost entirely in this. "Lets anjoyu Engrish. Are you leady? Startu!"
- Even Alan Moore has dabbled in this trope. One of the fake ads in the 1963 series he wrote for Image Comics is called "Shamed By You English?" it offers mail order English lessons from a spectacularly unqualified teacher. An excerpt:
QUESTION: How do I know your method works?
ANSWER: Letters in thousands there in my files, from peoples in all life walks, testimonials, proved to us the Linguage Institute Method. Amazing to achieve results. If below, you send in the coupon, some of these letters I can share you with.
- It was likely inspired by the real life inept phrasebook The New Guide of the Conversation in Portuguese and English, better known as English as She is Spoke—the world's first ironic best-seller, read entirely for humor's sake (Mark Twain wrote a special introduction for a reprinting in the US). It contains such gems as "Your gun have it load? Let aim it! Let make fire him!"
- The ad was distributed (with no credit to Moore) on a mailing list which added some spelling errors, including one that made the post even funnier. When the ad mentions that "countless men and women being who are held back in their social jobs and lives" because of their poor English, the re-posting leaves out the "o" in "countless".
- Big Hero 6 (the original Marvel comic book, not the Disney movie) got its name from this trope — it's an all-Japanese team of heroes, and the name is supposed to be a Japanese Ranguage mangling of "Six Mighty Heroes" or something similar.
- Chuck Palahniuk's novel Pygmy is entirely written in Intentional Engrish for Funny.
- In Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, advertisements and posters for Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong are written in this style, although Mr. Lee speaks excellent English.
- You Will Select A Decision: Two CYOA gamebooks "written in Communist Russia then hastily translated to English"
- The voice messages in Newt's crappy Japanese car in Good Omens. Prease to frasten sleat-bert.
- The mock game show Banzai! used vast amounts of "Blind Idiot" Translation for comedic effect, such as this clip about Squirrel Fishing. It should be noted that the Japanese characters used in the show graphics were, more often than not, total nonsense.
- The menus of The IT Crowd series 2 DVD include a spot-on parody of Zero Wing, featuring scenes from the episodes translated into Intentional Engrish for Funny. For example, Roy's line "I don't know many heterosexual men who read Heat magazine." becomes "Man is gay for reading warmth."
- One episode of Bones had Angela trying in vain to put together a baby toy. The instructions were written in this style.
- Because Super Sentai is usually better at English than this (while not perfect) we're not sure if Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters is funning with us or not when it comes to its most stereotypical Engrish phrases ("Let's Morphing!" "Let's Driving!" "4, 2, 3, 1, let's go!")
- The Julekalender is filled with intentionally bad English. Depending on the version, the "Nisses" speak a mix of English and Danish/Norwegian/Finnish. It's satire of bad English among Danes/Norwegians/Finns, but younger viewers may miss it because they have had English classes at school and many of them also Learnt English from Watching Television.
- Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello deliberately does this in his music to add a humorous quality to it. His English is great in Real Life, since he's lived in the US since the 80s. An example would be the title of the song "Undestructable" or the following lyric in Voi-La Intruder:
"You can usually profound me in between of my wings"
- "Elektronik - Supersonik" by Zladko "Zlad!" Vladzic, a resident of the fictional Eastern European country Molvania portrayed by Santo Cilauro, an Australian, has Slavic-sounding broken English lyrics.
- In Retro Game Challenge, the majority of the games are translated like this to maintain the game's overall Retraux feeling. "You shooted 27 asteroids!" and "Your adventure is not end!" are just two examples.
- Mondo Medicals and Mondo Agency manages to make this disturbing. Notably, Cactus, the games' creator, hails from Sweden but is a fluent English speaker.
- Fawful from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga talks like this all the time. His most meme-tastic quotes "I HAVE FURY!" and "the mustard of your doom!" have contributed to making him one of the most popular villains in the series.
- Fawful makes a comeback in Bowser's Inside Story, thus adding to his incredible list of memorable quotes.
- Indie platformer Explodemon has the title character talk entirely in Intentional Engrish For Funny. Made all the funnier by the fact that everyone else doesn't.
- In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl/Platinum, a clown congratulates the player with "A winner is you!". It helps that the translator is a member of Something Awful.
- Even earlier in the series, Pokémon Gold and Silver/Crystal had Earl Dervish (who even says "Want to be a winner is you?" when asking the player if he/she wants to hear his lectures on Pokémon) and a foreign Team Rocket member, who both speak broken English. Although the former also appears in Pokémon Stadium 2, he speaks English normally in it. The latter appears in Pokémon Black and White with his Engrish intact.
- Digimon World 4 might do this. Leomon, sans memory, describes a fortress which he vaguely remembers being named "Dreadnaught". According to other mentions, it's actually named Dread Note - whether it's deliberate that Leomon said the wrong name isn't certain.
- Prism Orange from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories.
- The much happy Flash game Ching Chong Beautiful is to the brim this, like "Win Victory!" when level complete has been and "Continue Justice" for to continue level the next.
- Kingdom of Loathing: "An Adventurer is You!"
- The [adult swim] Flash game My Lil' Bastard has this.
- The Orz in Star Control 2 are so bizarre that the Translator Microbes cannot translate their language accurately. This is shown by replacing certain words that cannot be translated with the most suitable words marked with asterisks and the use of broken English.
- Mafia II: When Vito is in jail, you can try to speak to an obviously insane man who will repeat "you have no chance to survive, make your time!"
- Iji contains the Scrambler which, if found and activated, translates the game's standard English into broken English. The distortion gets worse the longer the scrambler is left on.
- Hero Core has "Retro!" as one of its language options. If selected, it makes the whole game appear (comically) poorly translated.
- Fez: Just about everyone talks this way except Dot.
- Stinkoman 20X6 parodies Japanese-made video games from the NES era, translation and all.
- The messages you/the frog gets at the end of each level of Zuma are written like this.
- Done intentionally by Minecraft's achievement pop-ups. "Achievement get!"
- In LEGO Universe, when the Venture Explorer's computers interpret a coded Maelstrom message, it is mistranslated as "All your base are belong to me!"
- In Nazi Zombies, a good deal of Takeo's humor, especially from Ascension onward, relies on him occasionally slipping into this from his other role as The Comically Serious
- The level clear screen in The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures reads "Conglaturation!", a reference to the infamous ending screen from the Ghostbusters NES game.
- If you take a detour into the broom closet en route to the boss' office in The Stanley Parable, the narrator will ramble on incredulous as to why you decided to step inside. If you wait long enough, he'll deprecate your choice by claiming that when you go talk about this with your friends, you'll be all "OH DID U GET TEH BROOM CLOSET ENDING? TEH BROOM CLOSET ENDING IS MAI FAVRITE!" reminiscent of a typical web commenter.
- One victory screen in AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity says "You winner is yourself!"
- In Supra Mayro Kratt, you can play as Mayro (Mario), Luggy (Luigi) and Joshy (Yoshi). You must pass the "finnish line", then you have "winned".
- The store page for Saints Row IV's Anime Pack DLC is intentionally written like it was badly translated from Japanese.
- Jelonzo, the clothing shop owner in Splatoon, does not speak the Inkling language natively, and talks like this. A lot of "you are Xing the Y" type phrases abound.
- Mute Crimson uses this for all in-game dialogue and narration. However, menu texts, developer messages, even background art and cutscene cinematics are rendered in grammatically-correct English, heightening the contrast.
- Some of the Homestar Runner games, such as "Secret Collect", seem to be based on this, including being the Trope Namer for Your Head A Splode. It gets really silly, since the games in-universe aren't supposed to be made by people who don't speak English.
- Senpai Club's opening song nonsensically boasts, "LIGHT CHOCOLATE LOVE LIFE."
- In a Bob and George sub comic, Wily makes the CATS virus, which will infect robots and make them speak Engrish. The main character infiltrates his lair by pretending she is infected.
- In another sub comic, Zero Wing 2 is finally made, and the game tutorial is like this.
- Darths & Droids has a Zero Wing 'translation'.
- In Knights of the Old Coding, while Doctor Wily is verbally inputting the personality codes for Bombman, King Dedede interrupts by shouting "Someone set us up the bomb!" which causes a virus to be planted in Bombman causing him to speak in Intentional Engrish for Funny. His most popular line, when trying to explain to the audience that the comics were going to keep repeating the same period of time during different fights, is "Time is a rubber boomerang."
- The "Fashion Rancher" game in Sluggy Freelance is probably not an example of intentional broken English in-universe. The potential Defictionalization, however, probably would be.
- The creator of the webcomic you've never heard of Bark Bark Dog and Yell Cat wrote broken English dialogue, then translated it several times in Babelfish. The end result is something "rejoiceful, which only average spirit of the brain supports."
- FreakAngels references a classic bit of Zero wing manglification in this panel
- Polandball has this as a rule for any countries that aren't English-speaking.
- Spamusement is a combination of this and Exact Words, making sight gags from spam email subjects.
- The Daily Derp: Derpy speaks with strange grammar sometimes, for example beginning her statements with "is".
- SF Debris: VOYAGER BRING GOOD TEH KOMEDY!
- This entry at DozerfleetWiki explains the subject matter of Ferris State's Sociology 225 class entirely in Intentional-Engrish-For-Funny.
- Used in one of the unofficial endings for Red vs. Blue episode 100, "Insert Quarter," where Sarge breaks Vic's computer causing a broken English message to appear saying "You have winner!"
- "All your drugs are belong to us!"
- Made all the more amusing because the character announcing it is...well, Zero.
- A Let's Play of SWAT 4 at The Spoony Experiment has a level ending with a "Russian police training video" using gameplay footage of Spoony's many failures. Comments are subtitled in Russian, with translated subtitles reading "NOT TO BE STANDING IN WAY FOR COMRADES MAKING ENTRANCE!" and "BEWARE OF JEWS MAKING SNEAK."
- How Do I Shot Web?
- "Google Translate Sings" more or less runs on this.
- Caddicarus works a subtle one into his Vib-Ribbon review. Upon stating that the game's music was made by the Japanese group Laugh and Peace, he briefly shows an obvious machine translation of their article on the Japanese-language Wikipedia, which has such gems as "In this item, Music producer I am describes the unit."
- South Park has several examples.
Eigo ga mechakucha (The English is absurd/nonsensical)Daijoubu (It's okay), we do it all the time!
- "Let's Fighting Love!" from an episode spoofing anime. In the Japanese parts of the lyrics, the song actually takes jabs at itself for not making any sense.
Yoko Ono: Wery well?! Wery well?! You're gonna be on Ricki Lake, I tell you again! Look at [???] is she doing very well?!
- The "Brack Friday Bunduru" in the Black Friday 3-parter.
- Yoko Ono in "World Wide Recorder Concert".
- The Simpsons had the subtitles on the ridiculous Japanese dish soap commercial from the episode "In Marge We Trust". "I'm disrespectful to dirt! Can you see that I am serious?"
- Bart's pachinko machine quickly repeats "You a winner! Ha ha ha!".
- In Phineas and Ferb: Summer Belongs To You!, the lyrics to the song "J-Pop (Welcome To Tokyo)" are in this style. It's also animated in the style of a Caramelldansen Vid, complete with anime-esque art:
Welcome to Tokyo
Being glad that you are here
We came visiting, delightful us
Welcome to Tokyo
- "War were declared." - Futurama
- The entire last third of the episode "Reincarnation", due to being a parody of late 80's-early 90's American localizations of anime.
- In The Powerpuff Girls, Mojo Jojo's deep voice combined with his tendency to speak in extremely redundant sentences comes off as a parody of bad dubs.
- Episode 4 of Clerks: The Animated Series ends with The Reveal for the episode lost, so the (apparently North) Korean animation studio is allowed to write it. It's rife with Engrish. To add to the humor, almost nobody's mouth moves when they talk.