Manglish, Version 1.12

As regular readers of Mysterious Orientations well know, one of my favorite things about being disoriented in the Orient is the wonderfully wacky mangling of the English language by the locals. Sometimes it is a hilarious misspelling (“No Smorking”); or it can be an oddly worded, but still understandable sign (“Be Careful of the Bee”). Sometimes it is understandable, sorta, but the details are a bit dubious, as on this great fire procedure sign in a Kyoto hotel: “In the event of fire, assume the low position and breathe through the bottom.” This is a technique I have not mastered, at least not the inhalation part.

Anyway, I have rounded up a bunch of pictures of over the past year, and it is now my intention to share them with you. If you have seen some of these before, please excuse the duplication; I am going through all my photos and adding them as I find them.

In Japan, embarrassment is worse than losing your foot, apparently.

Try bringing this in your carry-on luggage!

Profound or inscrutable? You be the judge.

How does one measure loveliness?

"I'm Gonna Happy, I Gave You Love Sick"

No doubt the path followed by the usual suspects...

Odd name for beauty salon...

Packaging for a toilet seat cover

What do you think this means?

Scary Pre-school; no English, but in this case it may not be necessary


T-Shirts are among the major Manglish culprits

Be sure to ask for DogTar wine by name!

Baked cookies? This changes everything!

It is fortuitous, the anhydrous entrance...

What can one possibly add to this?

I can't even guess what they were aiming for here!

Ya gotta love the balcony of no frippery!

I wonder how wide the seats are in travel class?

That's kinda charming

No hyphen shortage in China...

Wow! Bread AND Food!

Hopefully not as a menu item!

English is fine, product perhaps less so

Could this be, by any chance, "Frog Legs"?

Could be an MP3 Playar, I guess, but kinda looks like a SatNav...

What do you imagine "cracking nano foam" actually does?

Words to live by...


An oddly named Japanese health supplement


Or perhaps white?


This gem comes from my friend Eric van den Ing


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