They Said What?

I was inspired by a post on another blogger’s site to write about some of the funny and bizarre uses of the English language that I have come across since living in Brunei. Before I begin, let me first of all say that the majority of Bruneians speak excellent English and I have never experienced a language barrier since I moved here – this is pretty impressive seeing as Malay is the native language. If you heard my attempts to speak Malay – or the little I can remember of it from my short evening course – you would laugh. The British are notoriously bad at learning languages other than English, partly due to the fact that languages are being brushed aside in schools and partly because so many people in the world speak English and therefore we are lazy. And, although I can just about get by in French, I have to admit to being lazy when it came to learning Malay. Anyway, my rather long and rambling point is that I am not judging anyone for their mistakes in English. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t include some of the funniest examples here for your entertainment, although I’ll do so without naming and shaming.

This bakery’s slogan caught my eye:

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Although, in a way ‘unexpected’ is an apt description as you can never be certain what you will find inside a cake in Brunei. Chicken sausage anyone? Shrimp paste?

Another restaurant faux pas includes a ‘crappuccino’ (though no picture as I got food poisoning from that restaurant – the irony only dawned on me afterwards).

Another toilet-humour related joke: this sign on a toilet door cracked me up:

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And I’ve saved my favourite for last… I’m really annoyed that I didn’t get a copy of this article which appeared in the local paper. To provide some background information, it was an expat Highland Games event and the man pictured is actually my husband! The caption is as it appeared in the paper.

“A man competing in the Willy Throw during the Panaga Highland Games”
“A man competing in the Willy Throw during the Panaga Highland Games”

It should, of course, be the caber toss but I much prefer this version! There are many more that I’ve seen and not captured, so i will be on the lookout with my camera from this point on…

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