Wednesday, October 3, 2007

English in Foreign Lands

English, being an international language, is prevalent throughout Romanian consumer society. It's found on t-shirts, in advertisements, and on product packaging...often with quite amusing results. It's quite evident when things aren't written by native speakers; poor grammar is typical and the overall message doesn't generally make sense. For example, when I first came to Romania I saw a guy wearing a shirt that said "Las Vegas, NY." Apparently whoever made the shirt has no idea where Las Vegas really is. I think it's hilarious. In fact, since seeing that, I've made a habit of reading people's shirts just to see what ridiculous things are written on them. And, every time I go into a second-hand shop I look through their stock for anything with terrible grammar. The more nonsensical, the better. If I ever find that Las Vegas shirt, I'm going to buy it, no question.

So, the other day I bought a peeler (for potatoes, fruit, etc). The instructions for use, as written on the package, are as follows: "keep the planer tool's cutting face hug closely the external face of fruit. Drag slightly the planer too along the shin of peel the fruit"

"Other Feature:" (mind you there are two features listed here)
"The stainless steel planing tool, which is easy to plane any shin of fruit.
"It designs according to human engineering, easy to operate."

"Prestige Guarantee:
"this product is guaranteed against defective materials and workmanship. The comapany assured customers that its products' usability is good."

I guess their guarantee includes everything but good grammar. But then again, I suppose I should consider what's really important in selecting a potato peeler.

A while back, I bought a bamboo cutting board. The packaging, which I saved, says this: "High quality bamboo, special artwork, natural green, environmental protection and sanitation. Made in China. People need bamboo for inhabitancy under the circumstance eating without meat."

I say, that's exactly why I bought this model!

But here's the one that I really got a kick out of. I was shopping, and happened to see a dip mix. I didn't even take a second to look at what kind of dip it was, or what flavor it was. I simply had to buy it, just because I saw the name of the product: "Let's Dip Dracula!" I was sold. Where else but in Romania.


Rachel said...

I think Dracula Dip would be a big hit in the States (though people would probably get slapped if they tried to ask for it by brand name).

Still waiting for a picture of "American Action Cola"... ;)

Cameron Wright said...

I gotta find me some 'Let's dip Dracula'. Hmmm draculatastic!

Kevin said...

my favorite part is that the brand is "fuchs"

need i say more?

Blegoo said...

And the peeler was...Made in China? :)