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Thanks for all your comments. Apart from getting rid of some silly signs and menu translations, I would say that Tokyo is already pretty well prepared to deal with the influx of foreign visitors that the Olympic Games will bring.

As for the mistranslated signs, I have also seen a lot of very strange ones here in Japan. I think the problem is that businesses rely too much on translation software. Most Japanese people do not realise that this software often produces hilarious results, so they just write in the Japanese phrase and print whatever the software throws out.

I think this is a problem of awareness more than anything else. Actually, translation software is a big problem in Japanese universities too. Most students don’t understand how limited its capabilities are, and when they are asked to write a report in English, many of them just write it in Japanese and use software to translate it. Of course, any teacher can tell at a glance when this software has been used, but that doesn’t stop students using it.

Anyway, here is some feedback on your comments.

When I saw the picture of this week’s entry, I thought it seems an interest topic.
… I thought it seemed like an interesting topic.

When I joined a walking tour in Kyoto, I got to know an Australian mother and daughter.
Nice sentence.

the Olympic games will be held in Tokyo and most of the events were held in the very limited areas in the center of Tokyo, so I wonder if we really need to make changes on a large scale.
I think the Olympics will be a great chance to boost Japan’s tourism industry. I guess the government is hoping that a lot of people who come for the Games will take the time to visit other parts of the country while they are here.

so we got off the bus when we found the first subway station and took the subway finally!
so we ended up getting off the bus when we saw the first subway station and taking the subway!

I’m wondering how many restaurants offer special menus for vegetarians or people who can’t eat meat for religious reasons.
Nice sentence.

Although most eldery Korean don’t speak English but some eldery Korean speak Japanese and we were helped by them.
If you start a sentence with “although” or “even though,” you don’t need to add “but” later on. A lot of Japanese people make this mistake.

My recommendation is Taiwan if you go abroad with your mother next time!
Next time you go abroad with your mother, I recommend taking her to Taiwan!

I’m not really sure probably because I wasn’t that excited at Japan’s hosting the World Cup.
I was in Sapporo when England played Argentina there in the World Cup. Actually, I did some training and lectures for the police on how to deal with English football fans. (Because I was a policeman in Liverpool, I had to do football duty about once a month at either Everton or Liverpool’s grounds.) The stupidest thing I saw during the world cup was a Japanese policeman shouting at the English fans through a loudspeaker, “Do not walk in the road. Please get back on the pavement.” The problem was that he was speaking in Japanese, so no one had any idea what he was saying!

hotels are very exepensive in Tokyo.
Really? I would say they are quite cheap compared to London.

our government has been running the campaign to have more foreign visitors in these couple of years,
… more foreign visitors these last couple of years.

Clumsy person like me should join a package tour
Clumsy (I’m not sure this is the right word, though) people like me should join a package tour.

What do you think about incorrectly translated signs and menus?
“Lamb raisin” is my favourite ice cream!

A friend of mine told me that she always gets upset seeing the sign written in English beside the diaper changing bed in the women’s public toilets.
This is a good sentence, but “when she sees” might be more natural than “seeing.”

That’s all for today. I have to go to my house again later and make more difficult decisions. (Yesterday’s was about the difference in height between the garage floor and the workshop floor. I wanted to scream “I don’t know!”)

Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back with a new entry on Monday or Tuesday.

26 Comments

  1. YU on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 01:11 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback!

    > hotels are very exepensive in Tokyo.
    Really? I would say they are quite cheap compared to London.

    When I heard it, I felt the same as you, but the problem is that not only tourists from developed countries would come to Tokyo to see the Olympic events. They are already accustomed to the high prices in their home, but for those who are from the rest of the countries, hotels in Tokyo must be very expensive anyway. As you say, it is true that there are a lot of hotels at a reasonable price in Tokyo, too, but the number of those hotels might not be enough for the number of expecting visitors during the Olympic games.

    I heard that all canditate cities have to submit mass of data about their cities to the IOC beforehand, and apparently, what the IOC pointed out after checking all of them was the high price of hotels in Tokyo, but it might mean that hotels in Tokyo are very expensive for the room(space). If it was so, I would kind of understand what the IOC meant.

    Anyway, good luck with your decisions for your house!

    See you next week!



  2. Biwa on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 01:15 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for the feedback.
    Right, you used to be a policeman! I wonder how you dealt with English football fans because they have a very bad reputation. 尊敬します!
    And you’re going to have a workshop besides your garage? That’s great! Hope you don’t get overloaded with so many choices. It says ‘regret less’ and ‘control expectations’ to minimize the paradox of choice. (^o^)b



  3. YU on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 02:37 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    > Travel agencys sell all sorts of trips like ‘studying abroad’ or ‘getting a scuba licsence abroad’ etc…as long as they include the flight tickets.

    I always thought travel agencies arrange all those things by themselves, but according to the article, it seems that they often outsource some parts of trips like that. If you had an accident during your trip, and if the outsourcing company was not resistered with the travel agent office, you would not get any compensation for your loss, even if your travel agency was authorized! It’s very tricky. We really have to read our tour pamphlets from cover to cover, but as you know, the most important matters are always given in very small letters on the back!

    > For most people, it doesn’t really matter which ministry is in charge of each part of your trip, does it?

    You’re right.
    I’ve never cared about that when I choose tours, either! It just becomes a big matter when you get involved in trouble like the article says. I think all Japanese ministries just want to reduce their responsible area as much as possible!



  4. ashmoleanmuse on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 02:54 PM

    Hi David,

    I hate to see my multiple posts. Last evening my posts with links wouldn’t show up and I tried again and again. However they just appeared after you had posted a new entry. What was wrong with that?

    Hi YU,

    She always wonders if it means they want our babies to fall out of the bed!!

    LOL!

    Hi Biwa,

    I see lots of those strange translations, too. I wonder what ‘kleptomania’ stands for!

    ?????

    Ash



  5. YU on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 03:36 PM

    Hi Biwa and Ash,

    > I see lots of those strange translations, too. I wonder what ‘kleptomania’ stands for!

    Online dictionaries say “kleptomania” means 病的盗癖 and is a kind of mental disease.

    http://ejje.weblio.jp/content/kleptomania

    When did you see it by the way? LoL

    Hi everyone,

    How would you correct the wrong translation for “誠に申し訳ありません。恐れ入りますが~番レジへお回りください” in the link Ash posted?

    Here is the wrong version ;

    I really don’t know how to apologize to you. Please move to other cash resisters.

    Isn’t it very cute, the first sentense particularly!! Joking apart, I often laugh at those strange English translations, too, but to be honest, I often don’t know how to say it correctly!
    Actually, I’ve once asked David to write about those mistranslations in his book. Don’t you think it would be a very interesting book?



  6. YU on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 03:59 PM

    How about this?

    “This cashier/Here is closed. Please pay at the cashier No. XX. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

    Does it sound too cold?



  7. ashmoleanmuse on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 04:36 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    Online dictionaries say “kleptomania” means 病的盗癖 and is a kind of mental disease.

    I know what ‘kleptomania’ means but I have no idea what food it indicates. Perhaps 手長エビ? It may have a desire to steal things because it has long arms!

    Ash



  8. ashmoleanmuse on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 04:37 PM

    The above is for YU. Sorry.



  9. YU on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 07:58 PM

    Hi Ash,

    Sorry, actually I didn’t know what you guys were talking about, but now I know what it is about.

    “pescatore of crab over shrimp and kleptomania”

    I have know idea what sort of food “kleptomania” is, either, it might means 手長エビ as you say, but rather I guess the writer has just mistyped the Japanese word what s/he wanted to know how to say in English, but s/he didn’t realize it and copied the wrong English translation just as the translation software showed. I think it’s all because Japanese people rely too much on translation softwares, as David mentioned.
    This is just my guess, though.

    私も”kleptomania”って何かよくわかりませんが、翻訳ソフトを使って英訳する時に誤って日本語をタイプしてしまっただけの話なんじゃないでしょうか?(翻訳ソフトじゃなくても電子辞書にミスタイプしたらとんでもない英単語が出てきたりしませんか?)
    ミスタイプに気づかず、違う日本語の英訳なのに気づかずに、翻訳ソフトの英訳をそのまま鵜呑みにして書き写してしまったでけではないかしら?それもこれもDavidの言うように日本人の「翻訳ソフト信仰」が原因じゃないかな?あくまでも推測ですが。。。



  10. YU on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 08:45 PM

    correction ;

    > I have know idea what sort of food “kleptomania” is, either, it might means 手長エビ as you say

    I have NO idea …., either, it might MEAN 手長エビ…



  11. YU on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 08:59 PM

    correction; Sorry again!

    > Sorry, actually I didn’t know what you guys were talking about, but now I know what it is about.

    ……but now I know what about it is.



  12. ashmoleanmuse on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Hi YU,

    Hmmm, I don’t think I will be able to fall asleep tonight unless I solve the mystery of ‘ kleptomania’.

    My guess is that it’s ‘clamato’ which is made from tomato juice and clam broth. One of the ingredients of the sauce of pescatore!

    Ash



  13. Anne on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.
    >Yesterday’s was about the difference in height between the garage floor and the workshop floor. I wanted to scream “I don’t know!”)—Oh, you are making workshop room? I guess that small difference will turn out to be big.

    Ti Fumie,
    Thanks for sharing the site. I couldn’t watch them without tears,especially the one that the dad and daughter appeared.

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone!



  14. Fumie on Friday October 11th, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Thank you for your feedback!
    >Clumsy (I’m not sure this is the right word, though) people like me should join a package tour.
    -I checked the definition of “clumsy” on English-English dictionary. Maybe I should wrote that I’m not good at understand the situation and act promptly.

    Speaking of mistranslations, I laughed at ones that ash put. Well, lamb raison flavored ice cream seems like smelly!
    In the same way that there are strange English translations, there are strange Japanese translations too. Have a look.
    http://matome.naver.jp/odai/2127787173425674201
    They had me in stitches!

    Have a lovely weekend!



  15. ashmoleanmuse on Saturday October 12th, 2013 at 09:17 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    there are strange Japanese translations too.

    Thanks for the morning laugh! That’s hilarious.

    Incidentally, Some gaijin ridicule ‘pocari sweat’.

    Ash



  16. YU on Saturday October 12th, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Hi Ash,

    For your good sleep.

    First, have a look at this site and see the second picture.

    http://www.engrish.com/

    Next, access “google 翻訳”.

    http://translate.google.co.jp/

    If you enter “手長エビと渡り蟹のペスカトーレ” and translate it into English with google 翻訳 software, then it will be exactly translated as “Pescatore of crab over shrimp and kleptomaniac”!

    As David says, I think the writer simply relies too much on google 翻訳 and doesn’t understand how limited its capability is. So, unlike you, I don’t really think there was a special meaning in the word “kleptomaniac” when s/he wrote it on the menu.



  17. YU on Saturday October 12th, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Hi David,

    It seems that my last comment(before this) is not counted again.
    I wonder if it is related with the links I posted…



  18. David on Saturday October 12th, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Hi YU and Ash,

    I think that if you post a comment with links, it has to be approved by me before it appears on the site. I cannot always do that immediately if I am busy or if I have not checked my phone, so if you post a comment with links, please wait a while and I will approve it when I see it.

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

    PS YU, “what it is about” was correct.



  19. YU on Saturday October 12th, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Hi David,

    I got it, thank you!

    > PS YU, “what it is about” was correct.

    I see!



  20. ashmoleanmuse on Saturday October 12th, 2013 at 02:27 PM

    Hi YU,

    If you enter “手長エビと渡り蟹のペスカトーレ” and translate it into English with google 翻訳 software, then it will be exactly translated as “Pescatore of crab over shrimp and kleptomaniac”!

    Wow! That’a brilliant!

    I typed “手長海老と渡り蟹のペスカトーレ” and I got “Pescatore of crab over shrimp and shrimp Scampi”.

    Hi David,

    I think that if you post a comment with links, it has to be approved by me before it appears on the site.

    I figured as much.

    so if you post a comment with links, please wait a while and I will approve it when I see it.

    I’m a liittle bit impatient but I’ll try.

    Ash



  21. YU on Saturday October 12th, 2013 at 07:27 PM

    Hi Ash,

    It’s interesting that you get two different translations whether you enter katakana or kanji for えび. You see, translation softwares
    aren’t really reliable!

    Anyway, “Pescatore of crab over shrimp and shrimp Scampi” still sounds strange, doesn’t it?

    How about this?

    Spaghetti Pescatore with Norway lobster and Japanese blue crab (in tomato sauce)

    Probably “in tomato sauce” is unnecessary because Pescatore is usally served with tomato sauce….I guess…



  22. Mari.N on Sunday October 13th, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Hello, David! I just knew this blog via ALC page on the Internet and thought this is really good for English studying:) First, let me introduce myself a little bit… I’m 19 and a university student, majoring in Portuguese:) I’ve been studying English for 7 years, I guess? and I love watching movies and reading ! One of my dreams that is concerned with English is to be able to watch English movies without Japanese subtitles.
    I believe your blog would help me improve my English and I hope to have a fun time reading your blog and other people’s opinions ,and also hope to help each other’s English. I’m new here and not really sure how I do with this blog but it was really nice that I was fortunate enough to meet this blog and you:) Thank you in advance(^^)



  23. David on Sunday October 13th, 2013 at 01:04 AM

    Hi Mari,

    Nice to have you with us. I’m looking forward to reading your comments.



  24. YU on Sunday October 13th, 2013 at 09:57 AM

    Hi Mari,

    Nice to have you with us.
    How come you’re studying Portuguese?



  25. Biwa on Sunday October 13th, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Hi Mari,

    Nice to have you with us. 🙂
    Your name is the same as my sister’s♪

    Hi YU and Ash,

    Thanks for solving the ‘kleptomania’ problem! Anyway, it’s a good thing that a lot of restaurants in Japan have pictures in their menu or plastic samples in the showcases. However, I think trying to figure out what the dishes are like is one of the exciting part of eating in foreign countries. Well, probably I’m too easy-going…



  26. amo on Monday October 14th, 2013 at 05:46 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I am in Okinawa now but am going back to Tokyo tomorrow 🙁
    I was too busy to write comments here. Anyway, I enjoy my stay here, I met up with some of my old friends. I haven’t met some of them for two decades. It is really nice to meet old friends.

    Hi Mari,

    Nice to have you with us. I bet that here is a great place to learn English. Look forward to your next comment.

    Bye for now,
    amo