English as She is Spoke

Paring KnifeWe’ve all come across delightful examples of mangled English when products are packaged overseas by those whose native language is not English.

This knife is one such example …

Made in China, it  may possibly be a very useful utensil. But I bought it from a local store just for its packaging. This, from my perspective, is it’s most attractive feature because it makes me laugh. :)

While the front of the pack assures us the knife is Sharp, Secure, Sanitary and Convenient, the instructions for its safe use are less reassuring:

Knife Safety Instructions

Perhaps the warning not to ‘test sharp by finger‘ simply shows faith in their product. Though admittedly very little faith in the intelligence of their customer base!

And I wonder … is the fifth and final instruction a warning for distracted and frazzled parents, so they remember to keep the knife out of their own reach?  For the ‘safey‘ of their children? ;)

But the most fascinating sentence – and the most mangled example of all – is on the front of the package:

Knife Description

What on earth … ???

That one still has me scratching my head in bewilderment!

But hmmm …. the magical properties of ‘Excelsior”?

Perhaps I should take the knife out of its packaging after all. :)


  1. Hi,
    Having lived in South Africa for over thirty years, a country with 11 official languages, and myself coming from a portuguese background, there are many instances where such funny translations have occurred.
    The most naive and delightful ones are generaly out of translating directly from Afrikaans into English.
    A little “googling” work will produce various examples.

Talk to me ...