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March 22, 2006

Odd Use of Foreign Words

(Japan) "Caution! Don't lean on the gate. The gate would fall down when lean on it. It occurs you trouble." Warning signs like this have caused many foreigners to look twice. Opinions vary and range from annoying, funny, simply incomprehensible and sometimes a combination of all. Whilst misspellings and incorrect meanings are common in English signs, menus etc, it has been suggested that there is a certain logic attached to the process. It is believed that since many Japanese to English translations stem from katakana, this may account for the misspellings. It has also been suggested that many of these signs are written by Japanese for Japanese people.
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