Is イングリッシュ a good translation of Engrish?

The Japanese-language Wikipedia article on the subject only uses "イングリッシュ" at the start (presumably just as part of Wikipedia indicating how the subject of articles are pronounced). When trying a google web search, many hits were referring to English schools referring to English, not Engrish (for example english-bell.com), and a google image search mainly gets hits for Johnny English, or the English cocker spaniel.

If it's not a good translation, what words or phrases, if any, are likely to be easily understood, preferably without being offensive?


Translating Engrish in Japanese is no easier than pulling yourself up by your bootstrap, since they use it while they don't notice using it. (Transcribing Engrish would face the same paradox, too.)

So, basically you should explain instead of translating. The first sentence in your Wikipedia link shows one of the most thorough samples.


But for the sake of brevity, you can just express it as 「(日本人の)変な英語」「怪しい英語」「奇妙な英語」 etc.

You could throw a visual knuckleball like イングりッシュ (cf. トイザらス Toys"R"Us), which might convey the intended oddity but not guaranteed to be understood as you expect, either.


In this case, the word イングリッシュ is much more acceptable.

The term is a bit derogatory though.

  • 3
    Much more acceptable than what? Jun 15 '15 at 8:03
  • Much more acceptable than any other "Engrish". Though instead of using the Katakana, the spelling "Engrish" in itself already a meaning in itself.
    – guestdave
    Jun 15 '15 at 8:25

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