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Very Lost in Translation

When I first started my job, I didn’t do the translations – I merely checked translations done by other people. The people who were primarily doing the translations were Japanese. As many of you can probably guess, this lead to some hilarious Engrish.

Not to take away from the translators abilities. Japanese and English just don’t directly match up, and anyone translating into their non-native language is bound to encounter a few problems. But still, these lines struck me as funny, so I wanted to showcase them. …Also, in a lot of cases, I think the original Japanese was pretty screwy as well.

And one final note – while the translations for clothes catch-copy sometimes provided for great entertainment, the ones I’m focusing on here are all related to condoms, lube, and sex products. Why? Cause I’m a huge perv. Er, man. Same difference.


From the condoms section, here’s a phrase that I feel is pretty reflective of Japanese attitudes towards sex.

Okamoto new skinless – You’ll forget you are wearing it, the girls love it too, in great value pack.

Maybe its just me, but I love how “girls love it too” is just kind of thrown in as an afterthought. “Hey, you’re having sex, you’re protected, the condoms were cheap…and she might enjoy it too, but who cares about that!”

Some of you may think I’m overreacting here. …Nope. Talking to some of the Japanese guys in the office, they have that exact sentiment. Let me plug away for 10 minutes or so, get off, go to sleep. If she gets off, fine. If she doesn’t, I don’t care. Maybe its just me, but if I’m having sex, I want to knock it out of the park. I want to be the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be. When the woman is 80 years old and reminiscing about her past sex life, I want her to think “Now that Az fella…boy hardy!” I told this to my co-workers…and they just couldn’t understand.

I have a newfound feeling of sympathy for Japanese women.


Here’s another from the “afterthought” camp…

Okamoto 003 – Wow 0.03mm of thinness, but don’t worry they are safe too.

Yeah, that’s reassuring.

Son: Daddy, how was I created?
Father: Oh, you know, a magic stork and all that jazz. …By the way son, NEVER use Okamoto 003 condoms. I’m just saying…


Yeah, this sounds appealing…

JEWELS collection – A scented cut that is kind to the girls in value set of 3 different styles.

Reading the Japanese, what they were trying to go for here was “odorless”. “Scented cut” makes me think of toilet paper. But hey, I guess you never know when something like this might come in handy…

Gynecologist: My, your crotch certainly does smell wonderful today!
Japanese Girl: Why, thank you! I wiped my ass with scented-cut toilet paper, AND I had sex with a guy who used JEWELS condoms! I couldn’t be any fresher!
Gynecologist: Hey, okay!

And what’s all this about value sets? The Japanese are pretty frivolous when it comes to money. They turn their noses up at anything perceived as cheap, and flock to the brand names. So, why start skimping on condoms? I don’t really feel this is an area that one should be frugal on. But maybe that’s just me and my crazy American ways.


This is just disturbing.

A set of six uniquely designed condoms. It’s fun to choose one, just like picking a favorite toy out of the toy box. “Which one shall I pick tonight?” It helps to create a fresh new love each and every night.

This, I believe, is from the “Toy Memories” condom line. I think I commented before on how damn disturbing this product is. What were they aiming for here? “Oh, this reminds me of when I used to fuck around when I was 8!” or “Oh, this reminds me of that 8-year old I fucked!”

To Catch a Predator: Japan Edition would be like 500 episodes long.

Chris Hansen: Why don’t you have a seat.
Japanese Guy: This isn’t what it looks like. We were just going to play video games together.
Chris Hansen: …Right. And what’s with the box?
Japanese Guy: What box?
Chris Hansen: What is that…Toy Memories?
Japanese Guy: I thought she would enjoy the bright and festive colors…

Between this and things like “Lolita Confinement Lesbian”…I just don’t know what to believe in anymore.


Y’know, I’m thinking they should leave the suggestions to the professionals.

WAO gel – Body jelly, rubbing it on her breast feels great too.

“Body jelly”, incidentally, is lube. For, y’know, when you want to do the deed but the girl is drier than the Mojave Desert. Or, if you want to go down the highway of love but take the backroad instead if ya know what I mean.

Again, it’s sentences like these that make me wonder what kind of oddball sex the Japanese are having.

Guy: This lube is awesome! Why don’t I try rubbing it on your breasts as well!
Girl: Sure, go for it! …Wow, that IS nice!
Guy: Thanks WAO gel!

Then again, this is the country that pioneered bukkake, so…


Gel can do this?!

Scandalous rose love jel – Gel desiged to contract and tighten, for a sweet smelling night.

I had no idea. I also have no idea why it makes for a sweet smelling night. I’m half tempted to buy a tube just to see if it actually works.

And again, why the rose smell? Ladies, perhaps you can answer this, because I’m stumped clueless – I can’t even think of a time when I was getting to it, and I thought “y’know what would make this sex better? ROSES! FROM HER CROTCH!” But I know that men and women do think differently, so maybe you can explain this one? Would you be more open to having sex with us if we could lubricate your vaginas with a sweet-smelling gel that contracts and tightens? Please, inquiring minds want to know!


The last line killed me.

QI magic – Charming scent with just one coating, get even more love.

It will create hot drama.

…Hot drama? Yes. I am so using that from now on. “Hey baby, why don’t we go create some hot drama? I’ll be the producer, and you can be the grip and sound effects…”

Many foreigners who come to Japan quickly notice the mangled English for the Round 1 amusement center chain – “Do you like bowling? Let’s play bowling! Breaking down the pins and get hot communication.” Well, there you go – take your new Japanese date bowling, get some of that hot communication, and then when you find she’s not properly wet enough for sex make sure you’ve got some of that QI magic for hot drama.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner.

First though, an explanation is needed. This catch-copy line is for a value pack of like 100+ condoms or something. The correct translation of the line goes something like “These condoms will expire 1-2 years after delivery. With the short life-span, its best to buy them up in a group” or something like that. The original Japanese, for those of who studying the language, is – 使用期限はお届けから1~2年です。ちょっぴり短めだから、グループでまとめ買いもおすすめ。 I mean, the sentence doesn’t make a whole lot of sense anyway, right? “Oh shit, these condoms don’t last for very long – I’d better buy a truckload of them!” What, is that supposed to be motivation or something?

Guy: Honey, c’mon…let’s do it…
Girl: I’m just not in the mood…
Guy: But I have SO many of these value-pack condoms, and they don’t last forever you know.
Girl: …Well…
Guy: You don’t want them to go to waste, now do you?
Girl: I suppose you’re right. Let’s have sex then. But I’m gonna be dry, so make sure you use some of that WAO gel. I wanna smell like roses afterwards.

That’s bad enough. But the way our translator translated it…well…I’ll let that speak for itself.

The best before date is within one or two years. We recommend you buy this item with your friends so you can use them up within that date.

Now, how many online shopping sites do you know that actively encourage orgies? Me, I can’t think of very many. That’s exactly why we’re special. Because, we are committed to customer satisfaction, even if that means taboo Roman sex with multiple partners all at once.

Guy: Hey everybody!
Group: What’s up?
Guy: Well, I wanted to buy these value condoms, but it’d be best if we all went in on this, right? And they’re gonna expire soon, so…hey! Orgy at my place next week?
Group: We’ll be there!

Makes Japan sound like a wonderful fantasy land, doesn’t it? Trust me, it isn’t.


The best thing, the VERY BEST thing about this next one, is that grammatically speaking, there’s nothing wrong with it.

Recommended for women who lack sufficient moisture for pleasurable sex.

And there you go. If you are a woman who lacks sufficient moisture for pleasurable sex, you should probably buy this gel. We recommend it.

I think this is only funny because we’ve all been conditioned to expect weird English when it comes to sexual stuff. Between people people who try to dance around the issue, and the porn industry who are wearing the pages out in their thesauruses everyday, you get something as straightforward as this and it just takes you by surprise. I mean, imagine you open up your spam mailbox one day, and you find an email titled “Gentlemen of African descent use their larger-than-average phalluses to uncomfortably penetrate and widen the vaginal orifices of young women of European descent who appear to be adolescent.” I mean, I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with that mail. Why don’t more of the porn spammers use this approach? I wonder what else is in my spam boxes…

“She contentedly ingests a rather voluminous quantity of male semen”

“Women who cohabitate in a university sorority house, and are rather sexually promiscuous, performing cunnilingus on each other while intoxicated”

I think I like this better, actually.

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