Gaijin Smash

Very Lost in Translation

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on April 22, 2008

When I first started my job, I didn’t do the translations – I merely checked translations done by other people. The people who were primarily doing the translations were Japanese. As many of you can probably guess, this lead to some hilarious Engrish.
Not to take away from the translators abilities. Japanese and English just don’t directly match up, and anyone translating into their non-native language is bound to encounter a few problems. But still, these lines struck me as funny, so I wanted to showcase them. …Also, in a lot of cases, I think the original Japanese was pretty screwy as well.
And one final note – while the translations for clothes catch-copy sometimes provided for great entertainment, the ones I’m focusing on here are all related to condoms, lube, and sex products. Why? Cause I’m a huge perv. Er, man. Same difference.
***


From the condoms section, here’s a phrase that I feel is pretty reflective of Japanese attitudes towards sex.
Okamoto new skinless – You’ll forget you are wearing it, the girls love it too, in great value pack.
Maybe its just me, but I love how “girls love it too” is just kind of thrown in as an afterthought. “Hey, you’re having sex, you’re protected, the condoms were cheap…and she might enjoy it too, but who cares about that!”
Some of you may think I’m overreacting here. …Nope. Talking to some of the Japanese guys in the office, they have that exact sentiment. Let me plug away for 10 minutes or so, get off, go to sleep. If she gets off, fine. If she doesn’t, I don’t care. Maybe its just me, but if I’m having sex, I want to knock it out of the park. I want to be the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be. When the woman is 80 years old and reminiscing about her past sex life, I want her to think “Now that Az fella…boy hardy!” I told this to my co-workers…and they just couldn’t understand.
I have a newfound feeling of sympathy for Japanese women.
***
Here’s another from the “afterthought” camp…
Okamoto 003 – Wow 0.03mm of thinness, but don’t worry they are safe too.
Yeah, that’s reassuring.
Son: Daddy, how was I created?
Father: Oh, you know, a magic stork and all that jazz. …By the way son, NEVER use Okamoto 003 condoms. I’m just saying…
***
Yeah, this sounds appealing…
JEWELS collection – A scented cut that is kind to the girls in value set of 3 different styles.
Reading the Japanese, what they were trying to go for here was “odorless”. “Scented cut” makes me think of toilet paper. But hey, I guess you never know when something like this might come in handy…
Gynecologist: My, your crotch certainly does smell wonderful today!
Japanese Girl: Why, thank you! I wiped my ass with scented-cut toilet paper, AND I had sex with a guy who used JEWELS condoms! I couldn’t be any fresher!
Gynecologist: Hey, okay!
And what’s all this about value sets? The Japanese are pretty frivolous when it comes to money. They turn their noses up at anything perceived as cheap, and flock to the brand names. So, why start skimping on condoms? I don’t really feel this is an area that one should be frugal on. But maybe that’s just me and my crazy American ways.
***
This is just disturbing.
A set of six uniquely designed condoms. It’s fun to choose one, just like picking a favorite toy out of the toy box. “Which one shall I pick tonight?” It helps to create a fresh new love each and every night.
This, I believe, is from the “Toy Memories” condom line. I think I commented before on how damn disturbing this product is. What were they aiming for here? “Oh, this reminds me of when I used to fuck around when I was 8!” or “Oh, this reminds me of that 8-year old I fucked!”
To Catch a Predator: Japan Edition would be like 500 episodes long.
Chris Hansen: Why don’t you have a seat.
Japanese Guy: This isn’t what it looks like. We were just going to play video games together.
Chris Hansen: …Right. And what’s with the box?
Japanese Guy: What box?
Chris Hansen: What is that…Toy Memories?
Japanese Guy: I thought she would enjoy the bright and festive colors…
Between this and things like “Lolita Confinement Lesbian”…I just don’t know what to believe in anymore.
***
Y’know, I’m thinking they should leave the suggestions to the professionals.
WAO gel – Body jelly, rubbing it on her breast feels great too.
“Body jelly”, incidentally, is lube. For, y’know, when you want to do the deed but the girl is drier than the Mojave Desert. Or, if you want to go down the highway of love but take the backroad instead if ya know what I mean.
Again, it’s sentences like these that make me wonder what kind of oddball sex the Japanese are having.
Guy: This lube is awesome! Why don’t I try rubbing it on your breasts as well!
Girl: Sure, go for it! …Wow, that IS nice!
Guy: Thanks WAO gel!
Then again, this is the country that pioneered bukkake, so…
***
Gel can do this?!
Scandalous rose love jel – Gel desiged to contract and tighten, for a sweet smelling night.
I had no idea. I also have no idea why it makes for a sweet smelling night. I’m half tempted to buy a tube just to see if it actually works.
And again, why the rose smell? Ladies, perhaps you can answer this, because I’m stumped clueless – I can’t even think of a time when I was getting to it, and I thought “y’know what would make this sex better? ROSES! FROM HER CROTCH!” But I know that men and women do think differently, so maybe you can explain this one? Would you be more open to having sex with us if we could lubricate your vaginas with a sweet-smelling gel that contracts and tightens? Please, inquiring minds want to know!
***
The last line killed me.
QI magic – Charming scent with just one coating, get even more love.
It will create hot drama.

…Hot drama? Yes. I am so using that from now on. “Hey baby, why don’t we go create some hot drama? I’ll be the producer, and you can be the grip and sound effects…”
Many foreigners who come to Japan quickly notice the mangled English for the Round 1 amusement center chain – “Do you like bowling? Let’s play bowling! Breaking down the pins and get hot communication.” Well, there you go – take your new Japanese date bowling, get some of that hot communication, and then when you find she’s not properly wet enough for sex make sure you’ve got some of that QI magic for hot drama.
***
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner.
First though, an explanation is needed. This catch-copy line is for a value pack of like 100+ condoms or something. The correct translation of the line goes something like “These condoms will expire 1-2 years after delivery. With the short life-span, its best to buy them up in a group” or something like that. The original Japanese, for those of who studying the language, is – 使用期限はお届けから1~2年です。ちょっぴり短めだから、グループでまとめ買いもおすすめ。 I mean, the sentence doesn’t make a whole lot of sense anyway, right? “Oh shit, these condoms don’t last for very long – I’d better buy a truckload of them!” What, is that supposed to be motivation or something?
Guy: Honey, c’mon…let’s do it…
Girl: I’m just not in the mood…
Guy: But I have SO many of these value-pack condoms, and they don’t last forever you know.
Girl: …Well…
Guy: You don’t want them to go to waste, now do you?
Girl: I suppose you’re right. Let’s have sex then. But I’m gonna be dry, so make sure you use some of that WAO gel. I wanna smell like roses afterwards.
That’s bad enough. But the way our translator translated it…well…I’ll let that speak for itself.
The best before date is within one or two years. We recommend you buy this item with your friends so you can use them up within that date.
Now, how many online shopping sites do you know that actively encourage orgies? Me, I can’t think of very many. That’s exactly why we’re special. Because, we are committed to customer satisfaction, even if that means taboo Roman sex with multiple partners all at once.
Guy: Hey everybody!
Group: What’s up?
Guy: Well, I wanted to buy these value condoms, but it’d be best if we all went in on this, right? And they’re gonna expire soon, so…hey! Orgy at my place next week?
Group: We’ll be there!
Makes Japan sound like a wonderful fantasy land, doesn’t it? Trust me, it isn’t.
***
The best thing, the VERY BEST thing about this next one, is that grammatically speaking, there’s nothing wrong with it.
Recommended for women who lack sufficient moisture for pleasurable sex.
And there you go. If you are a woman who lacks sufficient moisture for pleasurable sex, you should probably buy this gel. We recommend it.
I think this is only funny because we’ve all been conditioned to expect weird English when it comes to sexual stuff. Between people people who try to dance around the issue, and the porn industry who are wearing the pages out in their thesauruses everyday, you get something as straightforward as this and it just takes you by surprise. I mean, imagine you open up your spam mailbox one day, and you find an email titled “Gentlemen of African descent use their larger-than-average phalluses to uncomfortably penetrate and widen the vaginal orifices of young women of European descent who appear to be adolescent.” I mean, I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with that mail. Why don’t more of the porn spammers use this approach? I wonder what else is in my spam boxes…
“She contentedly ingests a rather voluminous quantity of male semen”
“Women who cohabitate in a university sorority house, and are rather sexually promiscuous, performing cunnilingus on each other while intoxicated”
I think I like this better, actually.

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60 Responses

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  1. Wes said, on April 22, 2008 at 4:34 am

    Where have you been mang?

  2. Tristan said, on April 22, 2008 at 6:10 am

    Nice stuff, good to hear your still alive and kicking.

  3. MrNox said, on April 22, 2008 at 6:17 am

    Well, actually the Japanese means “these condoms don’t last long so find some friends to buy them with you”. The meaning of “group” is “share the price because several persons bought the product”, not “buy a truckload of them”. You know, the kind of thing you do when you buy truckloads of blank DVDs with friends to divide the transport fee…

  4. Stephen said, on April 22, 2008 at 6:20 am

    So glad to find that you’re not dead.

  5. janet said, on April 22, 2008 at 6:51 am

    “I think I like this better, actually.”
    that just made me crack up!!!
    It’s really nice to hear from you:)
    hope you’re doing well!

  6. Travis said, on April 22, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Nice Bret Hart reference.

  7. threeleet said, on April 22, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Hate to ruin the joke, but actually グループでまとめ買いもおすすめ -does- mean “we recommend buying them in a group”. As in, a group of people (probably your friends, unless you buy bulk condoms w/ strangers).

  8. code monkey said, on April 22, 2008 at 7:32 am

    What? No updates about the wedding?
    Anyway, glad to have you back! If these are just about lubes and prophylactics, I’d imagine more funny stuff about other products.

  9. Brandon said, on April 22, 2008 at 7:49 am

    HA. Welcome back, Az. We’ve missed you.

  10. aimlesswanderer said, on April 22, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Glad to hear you are still alive and posting, after a break. You are lucky that you have an interesting job!

  11. Poop said, on April 22, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Oh, so you’re alive, then?

  12. Royston Joseph said, on April 22, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Awesome as always Az! It’s hard having to wait so long for your posts, but when they come, it’s always worth it! Congrats on your engagement by the way, I was one of the guys that contributed to your wedding cache via paypal. Normally I wouldn’t even do that! Your blog is that special to me! I think I’d better stop gushing now…
    Keep up the good work!
    – Roy “raijinZ” Joseph

  13. Liv said, on April 22, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Dammit, I really need to get my Japanese up to speed. Just look at all of the brilliant ad copy I’m missing out on. My piddly 4-kyuu rating and the fact that I don’t have QI magic; that’s why I have no love.

  14. ukimalefu said, on April 22, 2008 at 9:23 am

    HE’S BACK!
    Engrish is always funny.
    Uh… got married yet?

  15. Ann said, on April 22, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Write about your marriage. You are married now, right? You said you would be married next month, and that was like a month ago.

  16. Mayhem said, on April 22, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Welcome back Az… nothing like another post to brighten up a dull Tuesday here! Does the Engrish translations on the non-sex stuff reach the bizarre absurdity of the examples shown here out of interest?

  17. Anonymous said, on April 22, 2008 at 11:39 am

    My first post on your blog! Anywys, glad to hear that you’re still alive and kicking. How’s the fiancee?

  18. Anonymous said, on April 22, 2008 at 11:39 am

    My first post on your blog! Anywys, glad to hear that you’re still alive and kicking. How’s the fiancee?

  19. Alice said, on April 22, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    お久しぶり!
    It’s good that you’re back!

  20. Akhiv said, on April 22, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    We’ve been missing you Az! You need to have more stuff like this! I’m looking forward to the next update of your site!

  21. Forsythe said, on April 22, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Gotta fix the linky in the archives, Az 😉 (what? it’s where I go, in case he posts two in the span of a few days. well, he’s done it in the past. Once 😉 )

  22. brightpinkfishnets said, on April 22, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    OMG I’m sitting in my office trying not to choke on my crappy sushi while I read about your translation adventures. The thing about the group condoms had all my coworkers looking at me like I’m psychotic. Glad you’re back!

  23. Colin said, on April 22, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    I think, honestly, if I were to read something like that in my spam folder, I’d stare at it blankly for about 30 seconds. Then I’d click the link out of sheer curiosity, wondering if it was secret spy code and I had been drafted into M16 or something.

  24. Danny Choo said, on April 22, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Okaeri desu ^^

  25. Patrick said, on April 22, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    You know, with all these Japanese guys not caring if their woman gets off or not, I’m not surprised more women don’t cheat.
    Or is infidelity a real problem there? And should I come over and help solve the problem of the unsatisfied female Japanese population?
    (Az’s Note: Why, infidelity IS a real problem here!
    I’d like to start a business for all those lonely and unsatisfied housewives, but unfortunately I have no idea how to even start…)

  26. Ethan H. said, on April 22, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Happy Earth Day, Az! Good to see you’re ALIVE.

  27. Guille said, on April 22, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    “With the short life-span, its best to buy them up in a group”: from my point of view (my first language is Spanish), it looks like they’re telling you to buy them along with your friends and split the condoms afterwards. You know, 25 for you, 25 for Tanaka-san, 10 for Momo-chan and the rest for me.
    Not that this would be less ridiculous, of course.

  28. HiEv said, on April 22, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    First of all, yay for new posts! Two months was way too long.
    Second of all, the main page tries to get here using this broken link:
    http://www.gaijinsmash.net/archives/very_lost_in_translation.phtml
    Fortunately, the RSS feed gets the link correct:
    http://www.gaijinsmash.net/archives/very_lost_in_tr.phtml
    Please fix the main page’s link so others can enjoy this page. Thanks.

  29. Celina said, on April 22, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    “Scandalous rose love jel – Gel desiged to contract and tighten, for a sweet smelling night.”
    Women are stupidly self consious about their smell, they think it should smell flowery and pretty, since flowery and pretty is about as feminine (girly) as you can get, and sex smell is more raunchy than romantic. Raunchy in many women’s minds is perceived as like porn, and gross. Also, women are just uber talented at being self counsious. Despite the protests of men everywhere.

  30. Ryan said, on April 22, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    I’m really glad you weren’t offed in some horrible vehicular accident on the highways of Japan.

  31. Shinkada said, on April 22, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    HE LIVES!
    Also, you so yoinked that last bit from Proper Threads. Though I’ve never seen it used in that context, so, winrar.

  32. Andres0082 said, on April 22, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    OH YEAH! the Az meister is back
    missed you bro, and great editorial

  33. CF said, on April 23, 2008 at 4:47 am

    “I’d like to start a business for all those lonely
    and unsatisfied housewives, but unfortunately I have
    no idea how to even start…”
    Gaijin serve up Softball Straight Line, expect it
    to be Knocked Out Of Park…. 😉
    (Az’s Note: I get the feeling there’s some kind of hidden code here I should be deciphering…)

  34. Anonymous said, on April 23, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Why don’t you take a seat there?

  35. Anonymous said, on April 23, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Why don’t you take a seat there?

  36. Anonymous said, on April 23, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Hey Az!xD
    Still as funny and perverted as before…
    So how is it to be married?

  37. Anonymous said, on April 23, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Hey Az!xD
    Still as funny and perverted as before…
    So how is it to be married?

  38. Eric of Oregon said, on April 23, 2008 at 11:38 am

    This whole blog entry gives new meaning to “もったいない” lol. I don’t even understand the point of もったいない after reading your entry. Wtf is up with the Japanese?
    Above all,
    Thanks for coming back.

  39. commodorejohn said, on April 23, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    “Male semen?” As opposed to…what? Female semen?

  40. Cassandra said, on April 23, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    The rose smell is because it’s feminine and romantic of course.
    And they said to buy the condom with your friends to SHARE them because there’s many condom.
    Why didn’t you understand something so simple? You mother tongue is english, no?

  41. el pocho said, on April 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    nice to see you are still alive az.

  42. Lissou said, on April 23, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I honestly don’t understand why tey insist on splitting that 100 condoms box. Best date within 1-2 years? Doesn’t that make an average of 50 times a year? Do Japanese people have that little sex? It’s not even an average of once a week!

  43. Aaron said, on April 23, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Damn it, it’s good to hear from you again! I was starting to wonder if you were dead. It’s been boring without you around! ^_^
    …I wish I could tell you of my current whacky adventures to repay all of the laughs you’ve given me over the years, but it’d take too long to write here. Then again, mine aren’t so much funny as they’d have you amused more in the “WTF, man?!” kinda way. ^_^

  44. Shi said, on April 23, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Your posts are forever fantastic, and this one makes me wonder if Romance languages run into this problem. 😄
    Like the rest of them, glad to see that you’re not dead.

  45. lulwhat said, on April 23, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    seriously what it seems to be with people talking english as their native languace… it seems that whenever something istn at very first look making total sense or be understandable only on one way they just have (ok depending on person and awardness at moment of reading, but still…) this strange 80-90% change of just missing it and not understanding if someone else who did understand explains it to them very carefully… while those using english as secondary lang just think ½seconds or read it again, analyzes what are possibilities it meaned and possibly chooses one that was most likely… this text could very well be example of this… is your first languace english… did you get over how typoed, missing words and stuffs and “wrongly used engrlish” this is and got even remote idea what was written… (are you really still reading this… im kind of supprised… well this is internet… and people do get bored… thats why just “kind of”.. )or were you someone else and still didnt magically seem to understand what was written.
    and yes… that was mostly just pointing to group part… and no im not trying to say its written in english… but well its kind of supprisingly well translated even by that japanese translator 😀

  46. Patrick said, on April 23, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Az’s Note: Why, infidelity IS a real problem here!
    I’d like to start a business for all those lonely and unsatisfied housewives, but unfortunately I have no idea how to even start…
    Well, I suspect you’d start by filing a business license with the Japanese government.
    [It was not my intent to make light of infidelity, but I rarely hear any news about it from Japan. Moslty just celebs.]

  47. Maggy said, on April 23, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    I heard the Japanese have sex an average of 33 times a year. Now that I am living in Japan…well…my sex life has dropped down to the negatives. *cries* Az I promise I’m totally hot! Why are Japanese boys so difficult to get in bed?
    (Az’s Note: Because they’re afraid of you. And foreign men are too busy with Japanese girls. You’ve got to be proactive.
    My new business venture will also help out the foriegn female population as well. …Where do you live? =P )

  48. Anonymous said, on April 24, 2008 at 12:10 am

    It’s true, women are very funny about smells. Or I am, anyway. I know I’d rather smell like roses than sweat, semen and hormones, particularly if a shower afterwards isn’t a viable option.

  49. Anonymous said, on April 24, 2008 at 12:10 am

    It’s true, women are very funny about smells. Or I am, anyway. I know I’d rather smell like roses than sweat, semen and hormones, particularly if a shower afterwards isn’t a viable option.

  50. Colin said, on April 24, 2008 at 10:47 am

    If you ever get that horny housewife-satisfying business off the ground, I want in. I can take care of the Japanese women with a fetish for Jewish guys.
    …if any even exist.

  51. CF said, on April 25, 2008 at 4:09 am

    > (Az’s Note: I get the feeling there’s some kind of
    hidden code here I should be deciphering…)
    It’s a polite way of saying “I could say something
    *really* smart-alecky here, but I’m not going to;
    let some other poor fool feel the Wrath of Azrael.”
    🙂

  52. Anonymous said, on April 26, 2008 at 8:23 am

    “Guy: This lube is awesome! Why don’t I try rubbing it on your breasts as well!
    Girl: Sure, go for it! …Wow, that IS nice!
    Guy: Thanks WAO gel!”
    Not an hour ago, my husband was rubbing lube onto my breasts in order to titty-fuck me, and I suddenly thought of your post and laughed. Damn you for spoiling the moment!

  53. Anonymous said, on April 26, 2008 at 8:23 am

    “Guy: This lube is awesome! Why don’t I try rubbing it on your breasts as well!
    Girl: Sure, go for it! …Wow, that IS nice!
    Guy: Thanks WAO gel!”
    Not an hour ago, my husband was rubbing lube onto my breasts in order to titty-fuck me, and I suddenly thought of your post and laughed. Damn you for spoiling the moment!

  54. Vonbootystein said, on April 29, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I’d rather smell like something yummy, like fruit or cinnamon buns down there, than roses. maybe its just me.

  55. Anonymous said, on May 7, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    「使用期限はお届けから1~2年です。ちょっぴり短めだから、グループでまとめ買いもおすすめ。」
    Glad you posted up the original Japanese for this one. Basically, the first translator pretty much had it right. Rough translation follows:
    “The expiration date is 1-2 years after delivery. Because this is a relatively short period of time, it is recommended that bulk purchases be made for a group, not an individual”. “Group” is a group of people, and the “not an individual” is implied.
    This actually makes sense from a general standpoint, especially given the statistics for sex in Japan. The Western context gives it the bizarre spin. In Western culture, it’s kind of odd to casually overhear the conversation:
    Guy 1: Hey, guys, wanna go in for a bulk 100-pack of condoms?
    Guy 2: Oh, hell yeah. Got a lot of enjo-kosai on my plate.
    Guy 3: Damn straight! But only 20 each? May have to borrow some from you all once I’ve used mine up!
    Guy 4: You wish! Bet I’ll use mine up first!
    Guy 5: Oh, it’s so ON!
    Perhaps they should direct-market to love hotels. ^^;

  56. Anonymous said, on May 7, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    「使用期限はお届けから1~2年です。ちょっぴり短めだから、グループでまとめ買いもおすすめ。」
    Glad you posted up the original Japanese for this one. Basically, the first translator pretty much had it right. Rough translation follows:
    “The expiration date is 1-2 years after delivery. Because this is a relatively short period of time, it is recommended that bulk purchases be made for a group, not an individual”. “Group” is a group of people, and the “not an individual” is implied.
    This actually makes sense from a general standpoint, especially given the statistics for sex in Japan. The Western context gives it the bizarre spin. In Western culture, it’s kind of odd to casually overhear the conversation:
    Guy 1: Hey, guys, wanna go in for a bulk 100-pack of condoms?
    Guy 2: Oh, hell yeah. Got a lot of enjo-kosai on my plate.
    Guy 3: Damn straight! But only 20 each? May have to borrow some from you all once I’ve used mine up!
    Guy 4: You wish! Bet I’ll use mine up first!
    Guy 5: Oh, it’s so ON!
    Perhaps they should direct-market to love hotels. ^^;

  57. zeph said, on May 13, 2008 at 4:08 am

    Scandalous rose? I don’t think that’s for the front side, babe.

  58. Ed said, on May 22, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Haha great post!! They already had those Okamoto 003 in stores a few years back, I had to get some for an emergency situation, the thinness did give me some second thoughts, but the real issue was the size 😛
    But they were safe..:P

  59. Dave said, on June 5, 2008 at 8:00 am

    Great entry, and good to see you posting again 🙂

  60. joha said, on August 4, 2008 at 8:49 am

    yeah those okamoto 003 are not quite as trustworthy as they advertise, i found out the bad way, luckily no harm done. be careful with them.


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