"Lost In Translation: Misadventures in English Abroad"
Reading history and reviews
Finished in 2008My sister got this for me for Christmas, and I really enjoyed it. In fact I found this far far funnier than I feel I ought to have done, given that it's essentially laughing at examples of how non-English speakers have mangled the English language in brochures, signs, instructions and warnings. In a way, laughing almost feels a bit mean. However: some of these mistranslations are just plain funny, and when you're feeling a little low and want something to tickle you, this is exactly the kind of stuff that you need.
Aside from that, I also enjoyed the strange poetry and lyricism that seems to permeate many of the Japanese- and Chinese-to-English mistranslations, for example: "Little grass is smiling slightly, please walk on the pavement", "Push button. Foam coming plenty. Big noise. Finish." (washing machine instructions), "Confidence of creating deliciousness. This tastiness can not be carried even by both hands." (from the box of a chocolate dessert cake), "This light and smooth taste drink is the best refreshment to you. Anytime, anywhere, just like your friend" (drink label), "Dirty Water Punishment Place" (description of a sewage treatment plant on a map) ... I could go on. My favourite though (a film subtitle in Hong Kong): "I will kill you until you are dead from it!".