Lost In Translation

There's really no need to sugar coat these things after all...

There’s really no need to sugar coat these things after all…

Short of trying to put together anything that comes with “some assembly required,” one of the hardest things for adults to do is learn another language.  We picked up our mother tongue while we were still young and impressionable, which is how we came to utter the same double negatives and four letter words our parents used around the house.  It’s hard to wrap your brain around an entirely new way of talking when you’ve been saying and describing things using the same words and syntax for so long, though.  It’s the reason why the only enjoyment we ever got out of our mandatory high school Spanish classes was in learning all the cool foreign cuss words so we could stealth swear in front of other people…

Kiss my burro, Mr. Wilson!

Kiss my burro, Mr. Wilson!

You can find instructional videos from trusted names like Rosetta Stone and Muzzy to help you learn any language on earth from Swahili to Klingon.  But English speakers never had access to the state of the art language building tool that the Japanese did back in the early 90’s.  In the wee hours of the morning just on the other side of the International Date Line, a program by the name of Zuiikin’ English was airing on Japanese TV in 1992.  Learning a new language from the comfort of your own home would never be more fucked up….

Someone from my message board community introduced me to this as part of a game I run over there, and the only thing more unbelievable than the content of this program is the fact that I hadn’t found out about this before now.  Zuiikin’ showed clips of a poor Japanese woman trying to communicate in “everyday situations” with a very German sounding English speaker… and the English phrases the show would always pull out for her to say are not quite the standard “Where is the bathroom?” type of helpful sayings for the international traveler…

Holy shit!  Go back where you came from then!!!

Holy shit! Go back where you came from then before you kill off everyone in this country with your foreign cooties!!!

Apparently, American food must give Japanese the shits just like the chunky water in Latin America does to our tourists.  And it must be a really horrific case of the runs, because our visitor from the East was just asking Helmut to call her an ambulance.  Hopefully she found treatment or at least someone with an Imodium before the “Zuiikin Gals” came on… because even perfectly healthy people of all cultures and tongues would be unable to hold their bowels once the diarrhea dance started…


Don’t mock the Japanese… Pepto Bismol tried this same shit once, and it looked just as hideous.

This makes sense…… kind of….. in the same way fucked up Japanese anime sorta does after your brain resets from a Pokemon induced seizure.  Zuiikin’ was also an “exercise show,” and really, how did it take this long for someone to combine the genres of learning a new language with tightening up those love handles all in one family friendly program?  So we get three hentai girls in 80’s style workout gear doing synchronized dancing to extremely awkward English phrases that Americans wouldn’t even use in the privacy of their own homes.  If you happened to be in a gym with three scantily clad women who kept grabbing their stomachs and singing that they had a bad case of diarrhea, how fast would you drop that barbell and run like hell out into the streets in your spandex shorts?

And if that doesn't get to you, this closeup of a dancer's armpit probably will.  Japanese fetishes would have our weirdest obsessions for breakfast.

And if that doesn’t get to you, this closeup of a dancer’s armpit probably will. Japanese fetishes would have our weirdest obsessions for breakfast.

And since even back in 1992 it was well known that the United States was just a vast wasteland of crime and violence, Zuiikin’ English gave its viewers this helpful primer on what to do in the event you get purse-snatched and need a catchy phrase to make up for your lack of Mace…

As hard as it may be to top a video where trained aerobics dancers are belting out a happy ode to diarrhea, this bad case of international relations might actually out-WTF it.  It’s just an ordinary day in the park for our visiting geisha when all of a sudden she’s attacked by two men who raided some old lady’s clothesline to craft their clever disguises…

I'd freak out too if I were accosted by George Costanza wearing a pair of panties over his head...

I’d freak out too if I were accosted by George Costanza wearing a pair of panties over his head and tied under his nostrils…

Fortunately for our damsel in distress, the muggers speak very slowly and deliberately so she can understand their orders.  Most red-blooded American thugs don’t offer this courtesy and will just knife you after you played dumb the first time they demanded your fucking wallet.  Thanks to having watched Zuiikin’ English before she landed in New York City, she knew how to tell the bad guys “Take anything you want” and “Spare me my life!”  And in what can only be considered a lucky coincidence, because they numbered two and in fact did rob her… she learned exactly what she needed to tell the Gestapo police officer (our German friend from the diarrhea skit) who apparently has a desk in the middle of Central Park…

"Calling all cars!  Officer Schultz here... I just got a walk in from this crazy Japanese gal who just got robbed by two men.  Please be advised, both suspects are wearing female underpants on their heads.  Over and out!"

“Calling all cars! Officer Schultz here… I just got a walk in from this crazy Japanese gal who just got robbed by two men. Please be advised, both suspects are wearing female underpants on their heads. Over and out!”

If you’ve managed to make it through this post without getting a bad case of oral diarrhea, here’s some bonus Zuiikin’ English clips that will have you wondering how in the hell World War II wound up lasting as long as it did….

The Dating Episode! (Phrases for picking up chicks… featuring bonus male dancers in business suits)

The Anti-dating Episode (Phrases for the asshole in your life… featuring bonus random dudes in the street)

Teaching Bad Engrish (Or, how to make your German American boyfriend think you’re both horny and nuts at the same time)

This Is What Happens When You Try To Date Americans Using What You Learned Watching Zuiikin’ English

And there’s so many more great Zuiikin’ English clips you can no doubt find in the related video sidebar while you’re watching these trans-Pacific tragedies.  That’s all for today… I just wanted to share this bit of weirdness with everyone!


I’ll be back…… with a bad case of diarrhea.


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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23 Responses to Lost In Translation

  1. love it…we often are lost in translation… once mark had the runs and tried to explain it to a doc… he couldn’t find the word in frecnch (it’s diarrhea duh!) and so he said: I shoot with my a$$ :o) Happy valentines Day!

  2. LMAO.. you find the funniest stuff! Happy Valentine’s day Oh Evil one! 😉

  3. This is probably why we ONLY went to places where they spoke English. I know. That IS weird. But that’s what we did. English. JUST English 🙂

    • Yes… the next time I’m attacked by two muggers, I’m going to make sure they speak English or I’m gonna have to just leave. I hate having to try to translate stuff with a knife stuck in my face…

  4. I laughed so hard! Great post and thanks for the heads up on the weirdness. Lol!

  5. draliman says:

    That’s what you get when you use the Urban Slang dictionary when you’re translating your hospital…
    If that sign doesn’t make English-speaking patients immediately feel better I don’t know what will. They do say “laughter is the best medicine”.

    • That’s what makes “Engrish” so great… those wonderful times when the wrong translator is used. I’ll bet the Cunt Examination Room is just down the hall from the Ass Probe Clinic and the Dick Lab…

  6. Ladybuggz says:

    That was hilarious! That Climax scene really got to me! LMAO!!! man that was bad!! :0

  7. Wow……..Kind of makes me think my “sort of” French might not get me too far next time I go there…..I need to learn how to say “take anything you want” and “I have a bad case of diarrhea” instead of “hello” “thank you” “please” and all that normal stuff. Thanks for showing me how mega-prepared the Japanese are when visiting the crime-ridden streets of USA!


  8. Piglove says:

    My side hurts. OMP – we have laughed so hard at these. But they are the truth! Mom/dad said they have travelled before to non English speaking places and to listen to dad in his really bad southern drawl trying to attempt to speak another language is nothing short of hilarious. XOXO – Bacon

  9. Trisha says:

    Wow. That was weird! Now I’m curious about some things in Japanese culture. Do their burglars often tie their bandanas under their nose? Is it common for exercise videos to be so stationary without moving the feet at all? And do their movies zoom in on armpits the way ours do on cleavage?

    • There are definitely some rather stark and strange cultural differences between us and the Japanese. I can’t imagine the stuff of ours they get a perverse laugh about because it looks just as bizarre to them as this does to us!

  10. Third Line says:

    I wrote a recent blog post (“Communication with a Foreigner”) related to this.
    Language barrier is difficult but temporary. If an American man wants to be with a Japanese woman who speaks little or no English, he must accept and love her for who she is. He can learn her language while she does the same for him. When it comes to a relationship (international or domestic), love, acceptance, care, support, etc. matters more than language does.

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