Sunday, March 20, 2011

Funny English that is Funny and Not Actually Fun

Every now and then, I see some English that is just not correct or is a bit strange. One night, I took several pictures inside E-Mart. Since those pictures were taken, they have changed the signs to better labels. In addition, they also added Japanese to them.

Kichen Electric was actually the the Kitchen Appliances section. Kitchen is a hard word for my students. More than once I've heard students say that somebody was in the chicken.


The spelling on this bad that you don't know what exactly they are selling from just this picture. This section included the drying racks for clothing.


This was the sign above the bathroom scales, heating pads, and humidifiers.


This was the sign above the organizers for closets. It is common for Koreans to use the wrong form of a word. The most common one, in my opinion, is funny. If you ask students why they like a particular activity, they will tell you that it is funny instead of fun.


I'm not sure if a kid or an adult decided what would go on this sign. There was certainly more than one book there.


I had never thought of this term for what they were selling. Normally we say TV dinners when we are talking about the dinners that are available in the frozen food section. This term also encompasses a package of food (think Hamburger Helper or Homestyle Bakes) that just needs to be mixed and warmed. The pizza boxes have this term on the baked ones that they sell at the store.

Even Costco is not free from errors. They are, however, the only store that has everything labeled in Korean and English.


No explanation is necessary for this mistake.


This was at the Home Plus in Centum City. Apparently disposable consumables is a very broad term that could mean pre-packaged food that can just be heated. . .


. . .or it could mean disposable diapers.


These are labelled as Classification Labers instead of Classification Labels. Koreans have difficulty with r and l. In Hangeul, they are represented by the same letter. It can cause a lot of confusion. One time, I had a student who said something about a lobot and I had no idea what he was talking about. I asked a few times what that was and he was annoyed with his idiot teacher who didn't know what a lobot was. Then, a few minutes later, the light bulb turned on and I realized he was talking about a robot.

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