The last couple of times I tried to poke fun at the Engrish I found around me, it turned out that those things were totally legit. See here and here for those. But this time, I have some real Engrish for you! I promise!
Lately, I find myself becoming more and more frustrated with being here. Not just China specifically, but with Asian culture as a whole. No disrespect. It's just hard being a fish out of water. It's hard walking down the street for exercise and seeing elementary-aged children shrieking "foreigner" in Chinese while pointing. It's hard to endure certain tidbits of the cultures (especially my in-laws!), even if there are still things I do find endearing. I just need to go home and I want to before I lose all love for the continent that more or less shaped my 30s.
One thing has always driven me crazy here. And lately, it's making me so nuts I cannot even pretend it doesn't bother the crap out of me.
What is an Engrish name, you ask? Engrish names are the bane of my existence. As a professional writer and as a paid teacher, when a new student joins our kindergarten and the mom INSISTS on making the Korean name into an Engrish name, it makes me stabby. It is SO hard to smile and politely suggest something else. "No, no. I want to call my kid (insert Korean name spelled phonetically here)." Yes, what a brilliant idea. You want to send your kid to an INTERNATIONAL school and then give them a name that no business associate will ever be able to properly pronounce. Good job.
Last year, I had a lovely little girl named Juily. When the semester had started, I asked my work BFF Jon, who had her the year before, if her name was July. No, Juily. Despite his protests to the mother to spell her name Julie as is traditional, the mom insisted it be spelled this way. Because she's some English expert. Oh, I mean ENGRISH expert. Of course!
I've also had an Anny and Micky. This year in my daughter's class, she has a friend named ReiRei, which is Chinese last I checked. And in Jon's class, he has a boy named Onyu. I once had a Camille, which was fine except that all the Korean teachers had made her name tags say "Carmill." And no one noticed until I came along. *facepalm*
Come to think of it, the Korean and Chinese teachers have been rather entertaining when it comes to labeling the students' things. Like when this happened, for example. Why they don't just ask the English teachers to look it over first is beyond me. I'd rather stop them from making an Engrish mistake before it shows up in print. Sadly, no matter how many times I offer my assistance, I will always find something like this...
Just below "Philp," you can see "Juile." Which SHOULD be Julie. This year, we have a REAL Julie. Again, her name is correct on everything else. This is not a crazy mom issue. This is a typo. Thankfully, Bonnie there is spelled properly but I'll be damned if I can't get these people to stop calling her "boney."