At the Chinese Grocery

Been on the road, more soon. But meanwhile, too weird for “Wordless Wednesday” picture … like, wow. We also bought a tub of lychee jellies, some Pocky, a pretty tin of oolong tea, a “Druce Lee” video and a Hello Kitty notepad with the curiously translated fortune,

“The most ashamed of the life is your.

disappointed, but not is your defeated.”

Image description: A collection of bizarre (filled) liquor bottles for sale, from Soviet Russia and elsewhere, including vodka in a glass “kalishnakov”, and brandy in an “Eiffel Tower”, something in a matreshka doll, and other figurines.


  1. 25 May 2008 at 13:54

    I’m sure native English speakers write things that are just as bizarre-seeming when trying to express ourselves in our own second, third, or fourth languages … as someone who has learned Spanish as a third language (after English and ASL), I’d be interested in seeing a collection of weird things that non-native speakers have tried to write in Spanish … !

  2. ebohlman said,

    24 May 2008 at 16:04

    Interestingly, the proprietors of believe that the “interesting” uses of English on Japanese product packages and building signs are due to the use of English words as purely visual design elements rather than a textual communication media; it’s the shapes of the words that “count,” not their meaning.

  3. Norah said,

    24 May 2008 at 9:47

    If you like weird uses of English by non-native speakers, you must already have seen the Engrish site (but if not, then here you go :D).
    I don’t know if links are allowed in comments, so I’m not putting one in, but just add a ‘www’ in front of engrish (dot) com.

  4. codeman38 said,

    24 May 2008 at 6:58

    Oh, I always get a kick out of the…interesting uses of English on things like that Hello Kitty notebook.

    Two of my own favorite examples of that, both from the packaging of toy trucks that clearly were not made in an English-speaking country:
    “Fully wonderful. All are fangle and in high quality.”
    “Most new catena. Special styles. Unequal in performance. All new items best quality. Comepletely new to come into the market.”

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