madness in the metropolis 

Welcome to the Tokyo Tales Hall of Japlish

Strangled syntax and tortured text

One of the best things about living in Tokyo (yes, it really does rank right up there with 24-hour convenience stores and the excellent public transport network) is the prevalence of Japlish (some prefer the term Engrish) adorning items of clothing, vending machines, advertising, electronic goods manuals and J-pop lyrics - it's everywhere.

Japlish is English with a twist. Normally mistranslated from the Japanese, it ranges from grammatically-correct-but-horribly-cloying-and-overly-sentimental to comically misspelled to downright impenetrable and back again.

"Why can't the authors just get a native speaker to check it before they publish?" cry some, arguing that Japlish breeds Japlish and that the Japanese will never learn to speak English properly while surrounded by so much grammatical guano.

Screw that - let 'em loose, I say. I love my Obscure Desire of Bourgeoisie, and I won't let anyone take it away from me. Long live Japlish in all its forms.

Oh - but the page has moved to, so click here to continue to the Japlish >>