Friday, October 15, 2010

Fala Engrish?

So I know we have all seen them, and probably been tempted to buy a few at one time or another. The A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Engrish T-shirts that you can find in any store in Brazil. And by "Engrish" I mean "English" with some glaring mistakes that should have been caught before being mass printed on thousands of T-shirts.
It has becoming a hobby of mine, spotting these shirts. I will literally run across the street Carioca style (ie with a death sentence) if I see someone with an Engrish shirt on the other side of the road.
I mean, these shirts are not just in the dollar bin at a crappy thrift store. People pay good money for their Engrish. But why? Is it just a chic thing to have English on your shirt, kind of like the Japanese character trampstamp? I can't help but wonder how these shirts made it here. I have a few theories.
1) They are fabricated here in Brazil by Brazilians who don't give a shit if they are grammatically correct or not because people will buy them anyways. So they find some words on the internet, print them out and start selling.
2) They are the reject shirts from some English speaking country. Kind of like, Brazil is the graveyard for all missprinted graphic tees.
I like option number 2.
To show my appreciation, here is a list of my Top Five Engrish Shirts in Brazil (yes I write them down when I see them):
1. Operation have sex anyone. all days, nights mine as too (11 year old boy wearing this one)
2. Sparkle and of night, music its for me unforgenable
3. Save trees, ride waves, smoke soundeds
4. Love, Bang, ALL
5. Out of Control (this one wasn't really Engrish, but this badass little old lady was wearing it while "Vai se fuder" ing cars that were honking at her while she crossed the street veeeeeeeeery slowly)
What Engrish shirts have you all spotted in Rio?


  1. I love the kids clothes with English. My son got a shirt for his birthday that said something like "Save The Natures". It was so wrong but I thought it was hilarious, thus he wore it all the time.

  2. Hahahahaha, indeed that shirt would be worn by my child at all times as well.

  3. I own one! It has P&L on top in big letters, and below that:
    Love the Peace
    Then in small letters some dreamy explanation of why travel opens your mind, but the grammar and punctuation are totally wrong. Love it on all counts!

  4. I had a student who had a shirt that said "SINGLE... And looking. Inquire within." I just couldn't bring myself to explain to her what it meant.


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