Tuesday, 28 December 2004

Usage Manual

One of Life's great joys at this time of year is putting together the various toys given by other people to one's three-year-old ( nearly three-and-a-half) son.

Andrew's had great fun from a remote control car, one that flips, spins, and does a pretty good impression of break-dancing. BTW I gave Carmel a yellow remote-control submarine for the bath - every home should have one.

Andrew's toy (made in China) gave me some hilarious moments even before he started to play with it. I'll quote from the "Usage Manual"
  1. Is not suitable for the 3 years old and the following child.
  2. Before beginning uses must hard finish reading this manual.
  3. Suggestion is under the person's leading usage.
After I'd finished chuckling, I had a think about English as she is spoke. After a few moment's thought, it's relatively easy to see that the intent of the instruction was approximately as follows:
  1. Unsuitable for children 3 years and below
  2. Carefully read the manual before use
  3. Suggest use under adult supervision only
OK, it helps to know that in Mandarin, 'Person' implies 'Adult' : children are not 'People' as such. Or so it is IIRC in James Clavell's 'Noble House'.
Anyway, on with the Usage Manual, with spelling exactly as written :
Safe Rule
  1. Prohibition against 3 years old below of child usage;
  2. Play attention, you of finger,hair,clothes...etc.don't touch and car wheel, in order to prevent quilt harm;
  3. Car while driving not want to by hand grasp it;
  4. Don't let the remote control close to any fire withe car original;(such as electric stove, stoe heater, stove beside or mightiness of sunlight bottom)
  5. Dot want the place in danger to play;(such as street, steep slope...etc)
  6. Don't let the wet water of car, and not want under the rainy day is open-air usage;
  7. Dot want on the sand ground to play;
  8. Forbid the child to tear open the remote control with the car;
  9. If the car dash to piecesed,and should pass by the person check or profession personnel maintain the rear can continue to use
The amazing thing is that I can actually understand what they're getting at. If it breaks, get it maintained by an authorised repair technician. Don't expose to heat or bright sunlight. Don't get the car wet. And so on.
Andrew's now fast asleep after a long day, but his Dad is getting just as much fun blogging about Japlish (OK, it's Mandarinlish, but who's counting?), the redundancy inherent in the English language, a deep admiration for some un-Sung (or un-Han or un-Chung...) engineer who, despite his deep and profound unfamiliarity with English, has managed to get the message across anyway. Enough for Government Work.
Amidst the chaos and confusion, disasters natural and man-made, it is truly still an amazing and delightful world.

So remember, you of finger,hair,clothes...etc.don't touch and car wheel, in order to prevent quilt harm. And beware the mightiness of sunlight bottom!


1 comment:

Bellicose Woman said...

It was almost as much fun reading it as I expect it was blogging it.