Saturday, March 13, 2004

Stop Laughing, Indonesians!

It's not like we're a nation of good English speakers, ourselves.

Exhibit A(1):

  • A menu in a Bali's cafe offers a breakfast special of "toes with butter and jam."

  • A manufacturer in Kalimantan produces welcoming mats that say, "Melcowe."

  • Here are actual menu selections in Sumatran restaurants and bars: "Bawels in cow sauce," "sour soup juice," "coffee and egg," "green sand bottle," and "green sand tin."

  • Inside many intercity buses in Sumatra, there's a sign that says, "Recleaning Seat."
Exhibit B:
Google around for "looser Indonesia." On the top two entries, you'll find the term "Top Looser" and "winner and looser." Both are, supposedly, written by Indonesians.
And not just grammatical. We also have semantical cases. Here's what I found on an official tourism website.

Exhibit C:
"North Sulawesi is Diving!"
"North Sulawesi is Culture!"
"North Sulawesi is Adventure!"
"We're waiting for you in paradise!"
Dunno about you, but that last line sounds like we're trying to invite tourists to die, instead of having fun.


"...the funny thing about living in bali is because this is the main tourist destination in the country, people seem to feel compelled to write everything in english, without the effort to do so properly. In result, you'll see a sign like this on the street (this is I think part of the local government's anti drugs campaign)."
(Submitted by Affi)

"To me, the hardest thing to do in Bali is keeping a straight face when reading signs like this one:"
You must be well dressed on the road. Violating this rule you will be seized and confiscated.
(Submitted by donna)

1: Information taken from Miranda Kenrick's "More Gems of Japanized English."

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