J. Walter Thompson Shanghai shows the funny side of bad translations via new ElaN print work

Elan__Get it right_Food Menu.jpgThere are Chinese-English mistranslations everywhere in China - on tourist signs, menus, signs and printed on T-shirts. This can be amusing to native English speakers, but also confusing.

In this series of print ads for ElaN Languages, a business translation service, J. Walter Thompson Shanghai collected snapshots of some of the most mistranslated "Chinglish" from across China, to hilarious effect.
The tortured translations came from Menus "'Sixi roasted husband,' anyone?", Road signs "Racist park," "Kiss and Ride" and finally, Supermarkets "F**ck the fruit area."

The message of the campaign: Get it right.

"This is a real, tongue-in-cheek look into life in China. Many foreigners who have lived or travelled to China will be able to recount the irony and hilarity of 'Chinglish," said Carlos Camacho, executive creative director at J. Walter Thompson Shanghai. "It's a unique cultural happening but also a brilliant interceptive opportunity."

ElaN, which is both a language translation service and school, is based in Belgium with offices in the Netherlands and Russia. With an eye to the fast-growing English-training market in China, J. Walter Thompson Shanghai and J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam collaborated to come up with an insightful idea for ElaN to promote its services in Asia.

Credits: North Asia Chief Creative Officer: Norman Tan.
Executive Creative Director: Carlos Camacho.
Senior Creative Director:s Supparat Thepparat, Theresa Ong.
Creative Group Heads: Nattagorn Thairattanasuwan, Pathida Akkarajindanon.
Art Directors: Long Yao Chua, Nattagorn Thairattanasuwan, Supparat Thepparat.
Copywriters: 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

Elan__Get it right_Street Sign.jpg

Elan_Get it right_Supermarket.jpg


Face palm said:

Norman approved this drivel?
Hey bro- where are your standards?
Scam also cannot scam better!

Jerry said:

Maybe an award for using fuck the most times in an ad.

Truth is out said:

Norman and China has always been a hit and miss. This is an example of a miss.

Leave a comment

About Campaign Brief Asia

A blog for advertising creatives in Asia. To pass on news or advertise on the CB Asia blog, or to subscribe to Campaign Brief Asia or Campaign Brief Australia/NZ magazines, or The Work 09 Annual, email: Kim or Michael

Latest jobs

Retrieving latest jobs

House rules for commenting

Here are the ground rules for posting comments on stories: This site is a moderated blog. Comments that are seen to be more abusive than witty and/or constructive will not be posted. Obviously, we do not allow 'hate speech' or comments that are seen as a personal attack, defamatory, degrading or prejudicial to an individual or company. Overly abusive language also adds nothing to any discussion and will not be published. On occasions we will be asking people to contribute work, opinions and views on various topics - you are free to disagree, so long as you observe the above rules and remain constructive.