Tweet of the Week #57: Engrish Mistake Offers Restaurant Customers a Free Wife

Source: Gaijin Pot
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Struggling with hiragana and katakana? Well, if it’s any consolation, just know that many Japanese people have an equally intense love-hate relationship with English. Or should we say Engrish? For better or for worse, misspelled words in romaji are legion in Japan creating a landscape of hilariously awkward t-shirts, menus, signboards, and advertising slogans.

Take this week’s viral tweet as a prime example.

Genius marketing trick or unfortunate error?

As he was walking by a restaurant signboard @ymdandU couldn’t believe his eyes. Above the mouth-watering menu advertising beef cutlets (牛(ぎゅう)カツ), pork cutlets (とんかつ) and fried oysters (牡蠣(かき)フライ), a red and white sign indicated that the store also offers a free wife.

Wait, what?

なんだなんだなんだ pic.twitter.com/4tJHrOeLA0

— のり(あんず) (@ymdandU) November 16, 2019

なんだなんだなんだ = What, what, what?!

Looking closer, a tiny typo before the verb あります completely changes the meaning from “there is Wi-Fi” to “there is (a) wife” [in this restaurant].

Under the unfortunate misspelled line, “充電(じゅうでん) OK” implies that you can charge your electronics for free. But—and that’s the magic of the Japanese language—you could stretch the joke as far as suggesting that it’s “OK to charge (your wife).” Lulz.

Enthusiastic response quickly propelled @ymdandU’s tweet into the spotlight.

Lonely heart @hajimsta was well up for it.

ください(笑)

— Hajime SATO (@hajmsta) November 16, 2019

ください(笑(わら)) = Please! (lol)

@tty1971 admitted international marriage is tough.

うちにも、中国産WiFe有ります。
よく接続エラーが発生します。( ;∀;)

— TTY (@tty1971) November 16, 2019

うちにも、中国産(ちゅうごくさん)WiFe有(あ)りますよく接続(せつぞく)エラーが発生(はっせい)します。( ;∀;) = At home, I have a wife made in China. Connection errors happen a lot.

Lastly, it looks like this isn’t a one-time typo occurrence according to @bonne_and_bonne.

近いものを感じます……… pic.twitter.com/ZNMPlowVWw

— 灼熱電車区 (@bonne_and_bonne) November 17, 2019

近(ちか)いものを感(かん)じます……… = Here’s a similar one.

What!?

The word なんだ is actually an inflection of なん (の) with , the casual version of です …continue reading