Engrish in Mozambique

January 11th, 2012

I’m an expat in Mozambique, and I’d like to share a little bit of this wonderful country with you in the form of our local “Engrish”, for lack of a better term. Sometimes businesses try to communicate to people whose first language isn’t Portuguese, which is the official language here. The result might be called […]

This article was posted by Independent Software, a website and database application development company based in Maputo, Mozambique. Our website offers regular write-ups on technical and design issues, ranging from details at code level to 3D Studio Max rendering. Read more about Independent Software's philosophy, or get in touch with Independent Software.

I’m an expat in Mozambique, and I’d like to share a little bit of this wonderful country with you in the form of our local “Engrish”, for lack of a better term. Sometimes businesses try to communicate to people whose first language isn’t Portuguese, which is the official language here. The result might be called Menglish, maybe, but I’ll just go with Engrish here.

Here is a list of fun stuff:

Fun at the Water Park

The local “Adil” water park shares some goodness:

“We will not tolerate any offense against public morals, ethics and lack of bad behavior on the grounds of the park.”

That’s right. Ethics are good, but bad behavior is better.

Resumé gems

Excerpt from a great cover letter (sent to 100+ organizations – To, not BCC):

Waiting for Your Excellency the greatest consideration and care to nurture more professional experience, hereby express their willingness to join in your workgroup.

Naturally closely followed by this, in case there were any lingering doubts:

English: Spoken and written fluently.

Also lifted from a CV:

Curso de Inglês no JEMES INGLiSH SCHOOL ΙΙ nivel;

We’d like to introduse herbly our company

Engrish

Oh good. What does your company do then?

Engrish

(Yes, it’s hard to read. The email was sent as an image.) It’s nice to know that the “trainnings” will be offered by world-renowned experts. Somehow I do hope that these industry and academia giants did not write this introduction letter. But fear not, we are in good hands:

Engrish

That’s a relief, whatever it means. Ah, I see now that this message was brought to me not by the world-renowned experts but rather the company’s sales team:

Engrish

Thank you! Sales Team! It was certainly “pleasent” to hear from you!

Comments in code

Here are some gems found in comments in software code:

the data base name will all wais be same

More phonetical spelling:

seach for members hoo them b’Day is today

Menu mishaps

Often, restaurant owners translate their menus to English, which is great for tourists who don’t speak the local language. Still, it can be daunting to figure out what is meant.

At a restaurant in Chimoio, the sandwiches section was titled Sadwishes. I tried a shwarma sadwish, but it wasn’t sad at all, fortunately.

Also in Chimoio, there’s an Italian place called Napoli which has prawns on the menu (camarões). It was lucky that the original Portuguese word was also there, otherwise I would never have realized that bronz is a phonetic approximation of “prawns”. A dictionary must not have been nearby for a quick check at the time of writing.

Google Translate to the rescue

Suppose you’re the “country manager” for the “Southern African Region” for the advertisement agency Brandwise, but your native tongue is Portuguese. You need to write a bilingual email. What to do? Learn English? No way! Google Translate does the job for you. No time to proofread, just send it off!

Engrish

Ladies and Gentlemen: Relutivity

Here’s a company profile, sent (naturally) out of the blue to all uninterested:

Ladies and Gentlemen

The DIGIPRINT Lda is a Mozambican company focused in the areas of Design and Design Image material, Graphic Design, Brand management, Web Development, Web Hosting, Email Hosting and Advertising Print and Audiovisual.

We are in the market for about one year, with a portfolio of loyal customers and potential customers won daily for their products and services. It is proposed, in this context, continue to provide a high level of service in all areas in which we operate.

Our professionals have years of experience in this area and bond with the market, providing an excellent acceptance in the consumer market.

We reiterate our full readiness to cooperate with you and serve you. We are waiting for contact from your prestigious institution.

For Your greater knowledge of our company, we introduce our Corporate Identity.

Mission

Develop business opportunities present and future, offering consumer products and advertising services, audiovisual and Internet high quality and value added services at competitive prices.

Vision

Being the leading provider of advertising material and audiovisual quality, nationally. Strengthening the company-customer relationship through products and services with a high degree of satisfaction and relutivity.

With nothing else to add.

Standart Bedroom

A gem from Hotel Tivoli, Maputo. If you’re in the hotel business, couldn’t you at least be expected to know how to write this:

Engrish

We offer great dinning and complementary sleepers

Hotel Inter Chimoio, tucked away in the interior of Mozambique, has a website. Amongst other things, facilities include:

Engrish

Also, if you’re lucky enough to land the VIP suite, you’ll get complimentary sleepers!

Engrish

Cod Will Sunflower

If you’re visiting the north of Mozambique, ask for codfish. They will braz it for 2 people!

Engrish

 

 

Comments

1 One Response to “Engrish in Mozambique”
  1. Natalie says:

    Please keep them coming…

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