Funny Bad English on a Japanese Notebook

Philosophical Notebook
Going through my bags recently, I found this notebook I bought a few years ago in Osaka during my last visit to Japan and I thought the little saying was hilarious. As is usually the case, it is unintentionally hilarious due to a bad English translation. In this case it’s only slightly off. Let me state right off the bat that I could be very wrong, but I would have translated the last line as: “Some you’ll like and some you’ll dislike, but all will nourish you.”

The name of the notebook seems wrong at first glance, too. As I’m sure everyone is aware, the Japanese language does not distinguish between the English “l” sound and the “r” sound; it has one sound that falls somewhere in between, meaning that the words “lock” and “rock” are basically the same. Based on that, I would have thought the title should read “School of Rock.” However, since they included a little picture of a keyhole, it would seem this one was intentional.


  1. Chubby Chatterbox says

    I can only imagine the mangled English you’ve encountered on your travels. It does make it fun for the rest of us who aren’t as intrepid as you.

    • says

      Whoever is doing those translations now is certainly under-qualified, but I’m guessing they’re paid accordingly, so ‘fortune’ might be a bit hopeful. That said, a lot of travelers might be willing to pay a small fortune to cut down on the number of times they end up with a plate of fried chicken feet… You may be on to something…
      Daniel McBane recently contributed to world literature by posting..Redefining Greek Salad on Goa’s Palolem BeachMy Profile

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