"A black guy you'd think would know how to play Jenga 'cause it's an African game."
-- Austin Amarca

Monday Fighter!

A common theme on Engrish sites (such as engrish.com or engrishfunny.com) is a food establishment with the sign “Fuck the vegetables”, or the like. I’ve seen it enough times so it’s not funny anymore, but finally had to research why “干” was so commonly mistranslated.

(Example)

The Language Log page assauged my curiosity:

The problem here is that the word “gan” means both “to dry” and “to do,” and the latter meaning has come to mean “to fuck.” Unfortunately, the recent proliferation of Colloquial English dictionaries in China means people choose the vulgar translation way too often, on the grounds that it’s colloquial.

June 15th, 2009 5 comments
Posted by Filed under Monday Fighter!