I don’t particularly like to make fun of “Engrish” errors or word choices in Japan, because I know that my own Japanese is laughably, horribly, embarrassingly bad. I don’t see any point to making fun of someone’s language ability, especially when that language is as hard to learn as English is.
However, this sponsored post has been popping up onto my Facebook feed with some regularity during the past few weeks. And every time I see it, I can’t help but do a double take. Here’s a bigger picture of the product that the ad is selling.
The translation of the Japanese advertisement on Facebook is something along the lines of “The difference between a thin and fat person…is an enzyme” (I think?), so the drink’s obviously meant to be sold as a health supplement. A few minutes spent perusing the Internet informed me that “Fasty Placenta” has been around for a few years, and it supposedly has a pretty fruity taste.
But whatever poor soul thought that “placenta” would be a good product name obviously didn’t have an English-speaking test group. Maybe they were trying to evoke the nourishing or regenerative aspect of the material in question, but still…I shudder and bite back a vocalized “ewwww” every time I read the label. Can you imagine what would happen if a company tried to put a drink with “placenta” on the label on grocery shelves in America (or any other Western country)?