Friday, September 12, 2008

As for the Ingurish

This particular piece of drivel appears on the door to Omotesando Hills, one of Tokyo's snottier purveyors of bling for the nouveau riche. As the motto for this emporium seems to be "Abandon all money, ye who enter here," one would have thought that they could have afforded a competent translator as well. Not so. In fact, the real message is that they couldn't care less.


Anonymous said...

But the message is actually intelligible.

Pulsifer said...

That was me. I was unable to recall my Blogger password.

Kusagauma said...

Do you really find it intelligible? Some non-Japanese people I've shown it to could make neither head nor tail of it.
The icon seems to suggest that dogs are not allowed at all, while the Japanese text actually refers to pets in general. (What the English sentence should have said is "Please carry your pet in a carry bag".)

However, "perhaps intelligible" is not good enough. This is not some suburban supermarket in the sticks, this is a mega-buck, mega-bling emporium on "Tokyo's Champs-Élysées" with money to burn and one of the highest densities of foreigners in the country. Still they couldn't be arsed to find a translator, which only goes to show their perfect disdain for other languages.

But all this assumes that the sign is meant as information for foreigners, and my point really is that it isn't! Most (or perhaps almost all) signs and other occurences of alphabetical and other non-Japanese characters in Japan are not aimed at foreigners at all! They are in fact aimed at other (similarly linguistically challenged) Japanese to show off how "global" you are.