Sunday, March 30, 2008

Don McLeroy & "Crazy Chinese Words"


The Texas State Board of Education recently issued a recommended reading list, which has been criticized for lacking diversity: Educators rip book list in English plan.

A draft of the curriculum, released Wednesday, includes more than 150 literary works that Texas public school teachers should consider using for their courses. Only four of them reflect the Hispanic culture, a woefully low figure they fear will limit the exposure of the state's 4.7 million schoolchildren to cultural diversity.

When confronted with criticisms, Board Chair Don McLeroy, who responded by saying:
"What good does it do to put a Chinese story in an English book?" he said. "You learn all these Chinese words, OK. That's not going to help you master... English. So you really don't want Chinese books with a bunch of crazy Chinese words in them. Why should you take a child's time trying to learn a word that they'll never ever use again?"

He added that some words -- such as chow mein -- might be useful.
Not if the child decides to get a tattoo later on, Don. Or the child might become U. S. Secretary of State, quotes what he/she thought was a Chinese proverb, and get his/her's ass laughed at by those "crazy Chinese" as well as late night comedy show host. All because he/she never read "those Chinese books with a bunch of crazy Chinese words in them".

If you would like to add your thoughts & comments about this matter, Mr. McLeroy's contact information is available at Texas State Board of Education website. It might helpful to drop a few "crazy Chinese words" like 閉門造車 in your comments.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Audrina Patridge's Pork Fried Rice

Thanks to OK! magazine, Defamer, WWTDD & many others for bring this to my attention:

Ms. Audrina Patridge has recently got 豬肉油煎的米 tattooed on her forearm. It is unclear if the tattoo is genuine or some kind of publicity stunt.

However the tattooed phrase is not grammatically correct. What has been tattooed is direct translation from English word-per-word to Chinese of "pork; oil fried; rice grain".

If she wanted "pork fried rice", it should be 豬肉炒飯.

Tyler Durden has summed this up:

"...White people need to knock it off with the Chinese lettering tattoos. I'm a big fan of white people and being white is terrific, but we're kind of dumb, and the overwhelming majority of us don't know how to use Chinese... God only knows WTF she thinks it means. It turns out that guy [tattooist] isn’t an expert on Chinese. Shocking, yes?"

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Reader Welton from Brazil sent in a photo of his friend's tattoo. It supposed to be his name "Washington".

However according to Alan, this tattoo is wrong in several levels:

First of all, the name Washington is usually written ワシントン [washinton] rather than ウォシントン [woshinton] as was presumably intended by the tattooist.

Next, someone left out the first , leaving only ウォシトン [woshiton]. Then, they used the large rather than the small , making the tattoo actually spelled ウオシトン [uoshiton], so I guess it would be pronounced sort of like the English words "Whoa Shit On." That's probably not quite what Mr. Washington wanted when he got his tattoo...

And finally, they left out one stroke in , making the character look more like the character but backwards.

It's sort of sad that people don't check these things before getting a huge tattoo that covers their whole arm.

Chino Latino

Minneapolis restaurant Chino Latino (612-824-7878) uses pseudo-Chinese characters as profanity alternatives in billboard ad. (Photo by Beijing Sounds)

If the restaurant wanted to advertise and not get fined by the FCC, why not put some effort into it & do it correctly:

"A 2-hour vacation from the 他媽的 weather"?

What is written on the billboard are repetition of "新仿宋文[体]", which means "new imitated Song typeface".

A better question would be:

"Why did Chino Latino chose its location to be at a 鬼不生蛋的地方?"

* Speaking of bad weather, I was in Quebec City last week & right before my return flight was scheduled to take off from Québec Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB), a Canadian medical plane crash landed after its front landing gear collapsed & slipped off from the runway.

Due to this fiasco, my flight was delayed for two hours, consequentially I missed my connection at Detroit & had to stay there over night. Detroit is a very depressing city. It looks like a nuclear bomb has gone off there.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cameron Mark, aka. Kamokuron Shinkai

From Alan Siegrist:

From the caption, this tattoo (Feb. 20, 2008 in BMEink) with the characters 火目論真開 was evidently supposed to represent the name Cameron Mark, but I think it falls a bit short of the mark, so to speak.

Now, there might be “cute” ways to represent English names in Japanese using kanji instead of the traditional katakana. For example, Cameron in katakana is カメロン [kameron] but this might be a bit boring so some people might write 亀論 (which is similarly pronounced kameron) for a play on words meaning “Turtle Theory.” If you like turtles, why not?

But in our example火目論真開, using the characters 火目 for [kame] is really “forced” because this is a strange combination of different types of readings of characters. The 火目論bit could be something of a lame joke meaning “Tuesday-Thursday Theory” (火曜日 is Tuesday and 木曜日 is Thursday) but then it must be read Kamokuron not Kameron and is no longer a play on words.

And to top it off, 真開 cannot be pronounced anything close to “Mark.” The character is definitely wrong. 真開 could conceivably be read マカイ [makai] but not マーク [ma-ku] which is the Japanese equivalent of the name “Mark.” In fact, 真開 is a rare Japanese surname read しんかい [Shinkai].

So the guy has managed to name himself Kamokuron Shinkai.

Mixed Martial Arts Figher

My good buddy, Jon Rahoi, sent me photos of a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.

Jon says:

One of these mutant fighters was sporting some Chinese tat, that, upon further inspection, was actually Japanese. I think it's trying to say, "I'll win in spite of
yesterday?" or something like that.

Plus, making "I" two characters wide on the top makes it confusing at first glance to figure out if it should be read top-down or left-to-right. Anyway, not sure your final verdict on this but it's totally suspect.

HS senior resident pro-bono Japanese consultant Alan Siegrist concludes that:

The order of characters is strange, and I guess someone has left out a few words or characters. The grammar is also wrong because they are using the future tense for something that happened in the past.

This is very weird.

Anyway, I guess the intended order is: 我は昨日のに勝つ.

This would mean roughly something like "I will win yesterday's ___."

I guess the word in the blank is supposed to be "match" or something, since these guys are some sort of MMA fighter guys.

Maybe he didn't have enough money to let the tattooist finish the tattoo or maybe he weenied out at the last minute. Maybe he couldn't stand the pain.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

David Beckham's Chinese Tattoo

I have received many emails regarding David Beckham's new tattoo.

Many gossip sites are questioning the actual meaning & legitimacy behind his tattoo.

Lucky for Beckham, his tattoo styled in Chinese Cursive Script (also known as Grass Script) is correct.

, which is Chinese proverb of "death and life have determined appointments, riches and honor depend upon heaven."