Friday, August 25, 2006

Short Sleeved Tee at Guess

I saw this shirt in Guess' store window today.

Short Sleeved Tee at Guess store 1

Short Sleeve Tee at Guess store 2

When I asked the sales lady what the Japanese on the shirt meant, she replied "that is CHINESE" but still did not know what they meant.


  1. That is Japanese to the letter (note the kana) what a salesperson....teaching a Chinese person his own language :) the Japanese text is あなたの娘を隠しなさい (Anata no musume o kakushi nasai) which means "Hide your daughter" not so correct, at least politeness-wise (polite language is a must in Japanese language) it might have been 娘さんを隠しなさい (Musume san o kakushi nasai), adding the -san suffix....the correct form to address the second persons' children. お嬢さん (o-joo san / princess) might have been even better than 娘さん (Musume-san / daughter)

    Of course why can a person want something that reads "Hide your daughter" also noting that the shirt is kinda tight and revealing for a "daughter who refrains from showing herself".

    The song of today from your DJ tonight, a heavy metal number "Bring your daughter to the slaughter" by Iron Maiden :))

  2. Eek!

    And you're a better man than I am, just walking away.

    I probably would've said something like, "You see this?" and point to :checks hiragana table: what are apparently 'no' and 'sa.' "These? Are definitely Japanese."

    You know, like the salesperson cares.

  3. The "hide your daughter" phrase is kind of strange as it's a girl's shirt. Unless you're a lesbian. In any case, the phrasing is kind of rude anyway.

  4. It seems like it was intended to say "Hide your daughter" but I am not sure that politeness really enters into it when you consider the lascivious undertones of the original statement in English. Asking someone in Japanese to politely hide their daughter is like politely telling them to "F**k off." It's not a polite statement to begin with so I don't think it's a "must" in this case. I can't provide a better translation but then again I don't spend a lot of my time with angry teenagers on the streets of Tokyo.

    True, this is an example of machine translation put to marginal use, but it this really any different than the t-shirts you can see in Japan with English captions that are hardly recognizable as English?

    We live in a world where the meaning of words matter less than their visual appearance; even the Japanese can appreciate that.

  5. I think it's supposed to be like the phrase "lock up your daughters", suggesting that if people don't hide their daughters away, you'll come and steal them, impudent womanizer that you are.

  6. Don't you love it when someone who knows nothing about asian languages corrects someone who does?
    In college my fiance's friend ARGUED with him over the correct pronunciation of sze chuan (the food/region).
    My fiance is HK Chinese, his friend is white and american. What the hell?

  7. The comment about machine translation is spot-on... I put "hide your daughter" into Babelfish, and got exactly the same text that's on the shirt.

  8. first of all, i would like to point out that that is a shirt made for a man. note that those are pecs on the mannequin, not breasts. fet is on the spot with the intended meaning.

    i agree that politeness doesn't really matter when you're writing something on a shirt addressed at unsuspecting parents or no one in particular. if you were meeting someone for the first time, and you wanted to tell them to hide their daughters, or perhaps you wanted to tell your boss to hide his or her daughters, you might want to be extra polite. however, when you are an arrogant stud, to me, use of polite language doesn't really fit. but then, it's not like this is a real situation at all. it's just a silly, awkwardly-worded (perhaps poorly translated) message on a shirt. plus, it's not like i'm japanese, so what do i kno. mebbe in japan, when people get mugged (if they ever get mugged there, in that low-crime-rate country), the mugger will ask the muggee, "please do me the favor of giving me your honorable purse, or else i will humbly stab you with my lowly knife." stranger things have happened.

  9. Well, Japanese crooks routinely take their shoes off before robbing someone’s apartment or house. So I wouldn’t be surprised if a mugger was polite to his victim.

  10. first of all, i would like to point out that that is a shirt made for a man.

    Well sure...a man with bitch tits!

    But at least it doesn't appear to be part of their "derelict hooker" line for 2006.

  11. "please do me the favor of giving me your honorable purse, or else i will humbly stab you with my lowly knife."


  12. ...and those are European dragons in the graphic.

  13. The Japanese can be and are rude when the situation arises, but あなたの娘 is strange grammar, politeness be damned. Using -san isn't a matter of politeness as a matter of distinguishing who the subject and object of the sentence are. Also, なさい is the wrong command form for this. It would be better to say, "you should hide your daughter" or something along those line.

  14. "please do me the favor of giving me your honorable purse, or else i will humbly stab you with my lowly knife"

    Something like this? (excuse my somewhat poor 敬語)


    If you can not do me the honour of granting me your honourable purse, you will do me the honour of letting me stab you with this knife.

    But then you'd never translate it that way really.

  15. That polite threat below kind of reminded me of Takakura Ken and the catch phrase "shinde moraimasu"

  16. Why would anyone who doesn't know what the phrase mean be as bold as correcting other people? let alone a customer! and of course, we'd have to have European dragons, too...

    btw, did you see the Asian guy with the weird tattooes in Snakes on a Plane? I'll see if there's a screencap somewhere...

  17. 'politeness' in japanese isn't a part of the language, it's just in the language. There's no genuine sense of politelness when people say it. お財布 doesn't mean 'honorable purse' it just means 'purse', more equivilant to an article like 'the'(since there are none in Japanese). If you want to get a kick out of presenting japan as some rediculous land of dichotomies, then I suppose that might fuel that. Thiefs taking shoes off before going into a house is not a conscience effort to show respect to anybody, it's just something you always do, and it just becomes a learned response, like washing your hands before a meal or something.

    There are robberies in japan all the time, and they would most likely say 'お金くれー!', which is 'gimme (your) money!!!'

    I have a feeling that the original phrase was something like 'lock up your daughters' in a sarcastic sense, meaning there's an attractive man around. Like the simpsons episode when Mr. Burns says to Smithers "Mothers, lock up your daughters, Smithers is on the town!"

  18. also, using しなさい is incorrect, not because it is so much 'impolite', but because it isn't used in that context. -しなさい is mostly used in a kind of parent/child or teacher/student context used for scolding. If we're reading the supposed original English in the way that I mentioned, this would be more of a cautionary statement, which しなさい can't be used for. Nothing to do with politeness.

    You also don't need あなた, not because it is rude to say 'you' in japanese (which it can be only sometimes), but because there's no need for a subject in Japanese.

    To achieve the sentiment that I'm suggesting the original scentence has, you might say something like お娘さまのお隠しを., which might be somewhat vague, something that Japanese certainly can be.

  19. In college my fiance's friend ARGUED with him over the correct pronunciation of sze chuan (the food/region).
    My fiance is HK Chinese, his friend is white and american. What the hell?

    While I'm not saying that the white guy was prnouncing the province name corretly, there is every possibility that your fiance also mispronounces it, because Hong Kong Chinese often have a lot of trouble with pronouncing many of the phonemes in the Mandarin dialect. So unless your fiance has spent a lot of time speaking Mandarin Chinese in mainland China, the likelihood is that he'll get the tones right, but the phonemes may be somewhat off.

  20. あなた is also rarely used, in a general sense on anything, except a wife talking to her husband in an endearing sense, which I hardly think this is. In this type of phrasing the subject shouldn't even be used, and if a subject was used in the actual phrasing of a sentence like that, more than likely it would be the person's name to which you are speaking.

  21. I would've politely informed the salesperson that it's Japanese.

    I do like the phrase, "Hide your daughter", though. I find that hilarious. xD I almost want the shirt.


  22. None of the Japanese translations offered on this comment page is convincing. 娘を隠さなきゃ is my best suggestion but it's a flawed concept in the first place because you are trying to take a fixed expression in English and translate it into Japanese.

    And Travis, if television is my guide the thing to say when you're robbing someone is 大人しく金を出せ