Engrish: It’s what’s for breakfast

Over the past year or so, a goodly amount of the avalanche of spam that ends up in my inbox every day has been from companies in China that sell cheap, knock-off sex toys at wholesale prices.

Not too hard to figure out why. I’d be willing to bet that anyone who owns a Web site that talks about sex toys, or sells sex toys, gets ’em. They’re invariably from companies in China that want to sell me ripoffs of the Jack Rabbit vibrator and stuff like that, in bulk, at pennies on the dollar for the real thing. Their Web sites typically stay up for a few months and then disappear. (Got one of these spam emails in my mailbox today for a company whose Web site really inspires confidence: they have a hit counter on the front page, and as of right now the hit counter is at 4.)

That’s not the funny part, though.

The funny part is the Web sites themselves. They’re invariably written in Engrish, the particular variety of badly-translated English common amongst Far Eastern businesses who want to save money by not hiring professional translators.

The question I have, though, is does this approach work? How safe am I supposed to feel placing a $3,000 order for sex toys, when their Web site says things like “We are a professional and experience manufacture of condom products, lingerie, and sex toys for male uses and the female use. We have certificate for the condom. We have established the friendly relation with customers in USA. If you are interested in it, please don’t issue to contact us.”

8 thoughts on “Engrish: It’s what’s for breakfast

  1. Yes – I occasionally post about the spam Engrish. And it’s amazing how many people don’t know what that is.
    Sometimes it makes me shake my head – as if I would buy something from an email or website that can’t string together a couple of sentences (or have the sense to hire someone who can).

    I have a friend who used to work at Nintendo in Seattle and it was his job to get rid of the Engrish in games that were being imported. All day. Every day. I think he’s happier not doing that anymore.

  2. Yes – I occasionally post about the spam Engrish. And it’s amazing how many people don’t know what that is.
    Sometimes it makes me shake my head – as if I would buy something from an email or website that can’t string together a couple of sentences (or have the sense to hire someone who can).

    I have a friend who used to work at Nintendo in Seattle and it was his job to get rid of the Engrish in games that were being imported. All day. Every day. I think he’s happier not doing that anymore.

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