Korea launches campaign against “Engrish”

If you’ve ever been to Asia, I know at some point you’ve done it.

Somewhere along your trip, there’s a good chance you’ve actually stopped to take a picture of an English translation simply because it was too awkwardly constructed to not warrant a photograph. Don’t be shy. I do it all the time, and so do thousands of other people. When a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant is advertised as “The Chicken of Kentucky”, we find endless humor in this.

Now, the Korean Tourism Organization is actually asking the public’s help in an effort to eradicate this embarrassing “Engrish” from prominent tourist sites around the country. If you are traveling through South Korea between now and December 14 and just so happen to snap a photo of some “Engrish” while at a Korean tourist site, the KTO will enter you to win a gift card worth approximately $45 redeemable anywhere credit cards are accepted.

Yes. You read that right. Snap a “bad English” sign, let the Korean Tourism Oranization know where it is, and be given the chance to earn enough money for couple rounds of kim bap and shoju at the nearest bar.

So here are the rules: Register on the Visit Korea website and proceed to send in your finest street shot. The sign can actually be a poor translation of English, Japanese, or Chinese. It cannot be on a street sign, a menu, or a guidebook.

Winners will be announced on December 22 on the Visit Korea homepage.

Happy hunting.

Photo: Flickr/Wm Jas