"Cow Elephant Chicken Lucky Unicorn Dragon Crane Liu Shallow"

February 13th, 2005

Hanzi Smatter 一知半解 is a weblog devoted to tracking down the misuse of Chinese character in western culture.

Many of the examples – as you might expect – are tattoos, but there's no shortage of signage and commercial art that apparently deploys ridiculous combinations of Hanzi or Kanji characters for effect rather than meaning.

[Via Bump]

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4 Responses to “"Cow Elephant Chicken Lucky Unicorn Dragon Crane Liu Shallow"”

  1. Ray Girvan Says:

    Interesting as a reversal of Engrish, the use of Western text, without concern for the sense, in Japanese advertising and product logos (names such as Salty Cat, Human Water and Booing Fireman).

  2. John Says:

    Which I suppose just goes to prove that advertising people are the same the world over – never mind what you say, as long as it looks exotic.

    I don't know if Japanese people use English words or letters in tattooing, though.

  3. Ray Girvan Says:

    Apparently they do. I can't find any examples online, but a Japanese poster, DaiOni, says in this discussion forum: "…kanji tattoos are seen as a little silly in japan – of course, they love seeing all the gaijin who have complete babble carved into them. On the flipside, if you go through the tattoo mags here, they are full of baka [=stupid] nihonjin with really bad engrish tattoos".

  4. John Says:

    Interesting. So it's not just advertising executives who are the same the world over, it's the people who they seduce into following their lead too…