Sunday, April 29, 2007

T-shirt talk

If you walk down mainstreet in any French town, just about every other person you pass will be wearing a t-shirt with a slogan in English on it. Most of the wearers are oblivious to the fact that the message they are sharing with the world is either nonsense, full of mistakes or downright obscene.

One girl I saw recently had a top that read, 'young hot mistress for erotic massage' followed by a telephone number. There's no excuse for not knowing what it meant, for 'erotic' and 'massage' are both words that exist in French. It seems that the fact it was written in English makes it acceptable, even though the slogan is in effect really saying 'I'm a prostitute'.

I mention this because it reminds of the time back in the eighties when everyone was wearing t-shirts with Japanese writing on them. I shudder to think now what I might have been broadcasting to anyone who could understand Japanese. Perhaps a Japanese person could read on my t-shirt, 'stay away from this jerk, he's a complete loser' or worse!

After seeing the stupid slogans in english that people wear in France, I will always think twice before buying a T-shirt with anything written in a language I don't understand


Cutetwirler said...

As a student of Japanese, I have asked many of my Japanese friends to translate some of the many 'Japanese' t shirts that I've accumulated over the years. Rest assured, most mean nothing at all. They called them (something like) 'English Kanji' (similar to our 'Engrish').

Nice blog, I'm glad I found it! said...

Nice Blog! You have inspired me. I am of English decent and just created a shirt titled "MOTS FRANCIS SUR UNE CHEMISE" which translates to "French words on a shirt" Thanks for the influence!

Jonathan Lewis said...

Thanks for the comments! Feel free to leave a link to your site next time you visit.

Here's an update:

My 19-month-old son has some dungarees with the slogan: "the secret of Yack cold - even yacks get a cold"