Ad Nut
May 2, 2017

'Various and confused pizzas': Garbled phrases promote translation service

Elan Languages and J Walter Thompson ask would-be English speakers to 'Get it right'.

'Various and confused pizzas': Garbled phrases promote translation service

See a full-size version of the image above, and scroll down for two other ads to marvel at.

Elan Languages, a Belgium-based school that also offers translation services, is eyeing the fast-growing English-training market in China. Which is where this print campaign by J. Walter Thompson's Shanghai and Amsterdam offices comes into play.

The Shanghai office reports that it "collected snapshots of some of the most mistranslated 'Chinglish' from across China". There's really no way to know whether the mistranslations shown here are real, of course, but that doesn't stop them from being amusing. For example, Ad Nut:

  • Can't deny the unintentional hilarity of a store sign reading "Fuck the duck until exploded"
  • Would probably order a plate of "Taste is groping" if the opportunity presented itself, just to see what would happen, and  
  • Will definitely heed the ominous advice, "Do not come into the Pig World".  

That said, two points:

  1. In the spirit of fairness, Ad Nut would love to see the mirror-image of this campaign: attempts by English speakers to render phrases correctly in Chinese.
  2. Ad Nut fears the concept here will fail to make much of an impact on the very people who need business-translation services the most. After all, if you thought "Garden with Curled Poo" or "Hang small children sauce" made sense, you're probably going to miss the point. 


Campaign Title: Chinglish
Title: Food Menu / Street Signs / Supermarkets
Client: ELaN Languages
North Asia Chief Creative Officer:Norman Tan
Executive Creative Director: Carlos Camacho
Senior Creative Director: Supparat Thepparat / Theresa Ong
Creative Group Head: Nattagorn Thairattanasuwan / Pathida Akkarajindanon
Art Director: Long Yao Chua / Nattagorn Thairattanasuwan / Supparat Thepparat
Copywriter: Wei Shi / Pathida Akkarajindanon / Theresa Ong
Agency Producer: Peggy Guan
Production House:  Edelweiss Production
Production House Producer: Alvin
Photographer: Jeremy Wong
Retoucher: Low Mei Ling

Ad NutAd Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for some unknown reason has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over the world and presents them for your viewing pleasure. Because Ad Nut loves you.

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