[turning japanese]

Topic: Humor
My friend Daniel alerts me to Hanzi Smatter, the East Asian response to the classic Engrish.com. I have to admit that bad Hanzi (that is, Chinese characters, called Kanji in Japanese and Hanja in Korean) just aren’t as funny as the mangled English on Engrish.com, because English, as a phonetic language, always parses to something, even if that something is “Such a beautiful thing is always good that it is fascinating. However, a good thing is beautiful always.” (Jenny and I brought back some T-shirts like this from Korea, including one that reads “ADVERTISING DEITIES CONSUMER PANTHON.”)Hanza errors, by contrast, tend not to read as anything — there’s a lot of “Hey, that character is backwards and missing a stroke!” Still, it’s a good reminder for all of us: if you don’t know a language at all, don’t get it tattooed on you!

Also published on Medium.