The JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) is a test of Japanese as a second language knowledge and is held twice a year in Japan and many other countries around the world. Since the test is entirely in Japanese, it can be taken by anyone regardless of English ability.

Even so, the organization decided to put up English translations on bathroom signs at a test location in Japan, and some irritated English-speaking members of the Grammar Police decided to do a little editing work whilst sitting on the potty.

First, let’s explain the reasons behind the Engrish here, since there’s almost always a simple explanation for these things.

Since Japanese uses the same word for “clean” and “beautiful”, (kirei), the writer of this notice simply used the wrong word for the English translation, which as mistakes go is rather boring and straightforward. And since the Japanese particle “ni” (に) after an adjective makes an adverb, “beautiful” becomes “beautifully”. So, what they were going for was “Please use the rest room cleanly” which is an awkward but literal translation of the Japanese. Instead, we’ve got images of people doing ballet on the toilet seat.

What’s even funnier is that a disgruntled English speaker tried to school the JLPT staff by correcting their English. “Please keep the rest room clean” is a pretty good translation, but the same scribbler goes on to show themselves up in the next sentence by forgetting the verb in the sentence “Please a professional translator!”

If you look at the next line, you’ll notice that the handwriting is different, which means another potty-sitter decided to weigh in on the issue. (Linguistic pissing contests are just the best, aren’t they? And what better place to flex your know-it-all muscles than at the JLPT exam site?) “It is the correct translation!” they snarl, which, if we’re taking “correct” to mean literal, is true (even though it literally isn’t correct. Does that make sense?).

Grammar Police officer number 3 (note the ‘t’s are different to the first two sets of handwriting) claims “No it’s stupid!” (Wouldn’t “No, it’s stupid!” flow a little better? You tell me…)

Finally, Potty Sitter 4 tries to justify the original Engrish by drawing an arrow to the text that says “Japanese Language Proficiency Test” and pointing out that it’s NOT the “English Language Proficiency Test”.

We’d like to suggest that everyone involved in this war of words on a bathroom wall spend less time correcting toilet texts and more time focusing on their studies. Because believe us, after years of kanji drills, learning the different tiers of honorific keigo, writing essays and deciphering classical Japanese and, yes, wrestling with the dreaded N-1 level of the JLPT, these guys are going to have NO energy left for debating the English on toilet signs. It’s always better to leave it to the professionals, by which we of course mean RocketNews24 writers, who are seasoned pros at sucking the fun out of Engrish with logic.

Does Engrish annoy you? Let us know in the comments!

Source and image: Twitter @hiiragishest