I sit with a group of technical writers at work. Every so often, weâ€™d email or chat about funny English translations weâ€™ve seen around Shanghai / China. Itâ€™s a great source of laughter and entertainment for an otherwise quiet and dull afternoon where everybody stares at the computer screen like a zombie digesting an earlier meal. Another source of good laughter for a comatose afternoon is Engrish.com.
One time, a colleague asked if weâ€™ve ever heard of the song â€œKen Leeâ€ by Mariah Carey. I donâ€™t listen to pop music so I wouldnâ€™t know. Itâ€™s funny I should mention that the only pop concert I ever attended in my life was Mariah Careyâ€™s first (and only) concert in Shanghai. Back in my teaching days, I often get invitations from parents to all sorts of events. One time, a parent gave me a set of Mariah Carey concert tickets. I wasnâ€™t interested, but went anyway just to say Iâ€™ve been to a pop concert and saw Mariah Carey live.
The concert was very short and the tickets were ridiculously expensive. At least i didnâ€™t pay for the tickets, but I was very surprised to see the stadium packed with so many Chinese fans. I donâ€™t remember any of the songs Mariah sang during that concert, but I certainly donâ€™t remember any songs called â€œKen Lee.â€ So I was curious why my colleague asked about it. She told us to go home and YouTube the song. (One of these days, YouTube will be a verb in the official English dictionary.)
I looked up â€œKen Leeâ€ on YouTube and after watching it, my stomach was in pain from laughing too hard. Iâ€™ve posted the video below for your entertainment.
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Originally posted by Susan at http://www.shanghaitechwriter.com/2009/04/20/ken-lee-lost-in-translation/