‘Fuck a bullfrog’ – JWT parodies Chinese-English translation errors in language school ads

The most grotesque examples of Chinese-English translation fails have become the source of a new print campaign by J.Walter Thompson Shanghai.

The campaign for Belgium-headquartered translation school ElaN uses the worst ‘Chinglish’ language mistakes from signs, menus and T-shirts to create the following montages.

Hard Times: JWT chooses some of the worst examples of mistranslated Chinese signs

One ad focuses on tourist signs, of which the worst examples include ‘Racist Park’ and ‘Jump of the Cliffe’.

Another ad is meanwhile dedicated to every time the word ‘Fuck’ made its way into supermarket signs and menus. Notable examples include: ‘Fuck a bullfrog’ and ‘Fuck the ginger water’.

JWT Shanghai’s executive creative director Carlos Camacho described the campaign as “a real, tongue-in-cheek look into life in China.”

He added: “Many foreigners who have lived or travelled to China will be able to recount the irony and hilarity of ‘Chinglish. 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. The campaign aims to help the company grow its presence in China.


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