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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Oldies... but goodies! » » Japanese to English magic instructions (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tim Ellis
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V.I.P.
Melbourne, Australia
1224 Posts

Profile of Tim Ellis
OK, here's a cry for help to all those out there who share my passion for the odd and amusing.

I have a love for badly translated trick instructions, especially those from Japanese to English. Now I know they are very hard to come about nowdays, but in the 80's and earlier they were very easy to find.

If you have any old sets of instructions in your magic cupboard (you know what I mean "You are coming on stage. Respect audience with rope.") I would LOVE to get a copy either scanned and emailed, or simply the text typed in this forum for all to enjoy.

We all have odd collections, and I know I'm not alone, so please check out your cupboards and filing cabinets now and start typing!

Here's an example from the instructions for Business Card Printer:

Quote:
When putting a blank white paper into the transparent protective bag, it comes a name card with a slight tipping by finger.

They go on:

Quote:
The structure of the transparent protective bag as per the right chart. The exchange of position is carried out, with the turning board to be fixed on two sides, by using front transparent part to be bent. When showing, put the turning board with white part in front.

I won't go through the "technical instructions", they are more puzzling than the trick! But here are the "final remarks":

Quote:
When tipping the transparent protective bag with finger like chart (3), tipping action should be from right low corner to the left corner up. At first practise, the action should be larger and, then, slow down to the position of (x) after skillful.

TIM ELLIS
http://www.MagicUnlimited.com
Victor Brisbin
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Elite user
Washington, DC
432 Posts

Profile of Victor Brisbin
I just came across your topic, Tim (looks like I've been absent for a while...) Since I have an abiding interest in Japan, I do have a few instructions, etc. that you might enjoy. For the benefit of others, I'm going to type a few highlights of the "translated" instructions for "Luc-Key", which is currently available. Consequently I won't tip the method here.

"LUC-KEY, the newly attired gimmick, is born again by MIKAME CRAFT. LUC-KEY is a simple and joyous trick, which is provided with a special lock. Any spectator can never open it." ... "Have four spectators challenge you. All recognize that the padlock can not be opened. Then, casually [open the lock], telling 'As you all see, this key can open the wallet. It's a pity for you." "Note It would be more amusing if you charge the spectators a challenge fee at the start of the routine..." "When the majority of the audience are children, in place of cash you had better use book coupons or others in the wooden wallet."

[abbreviated. No disrespect is intended for the translator, or to Mikame Craft]
"It is better to practice a little than talk a lot." - Muso Kokushi
JordanMalfreed
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Regular user
California
116 Posts

Profile of JordanMalfreed
One of the more perplexing and mystifying translations I've seen on instructions was told to me by my dad. The English said, "Please use more often than somewhat."

Nice, eh?

Oh, also, if you like this stuff, you can check out Engrish.com for lots of great weird Engrish
AGMagic
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Special user
Cailf.
775 Posts

Profile of AGMagic
My favorite was always "Make obscure in hand".

I bought a LOT of magic in those days. I'll check my files.

Tim
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
Brian Caswell
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New user
36 Posts

Profile of Brian Caswell
I recently wholesaled magic to Japan, so I was checking out a Japanese website. What I didn't realize is that google appears to do an ersatz translation for you. A button comes up that simply says 'translate', which you click on, if you want to view the site in english text. The resulting 'translation' is hysterically
nonsensical.

Brian Caswell http://www.unearthlymagic.com
Victor Brisbin
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Elite user
Washington, DC
432 Posts

Profile of Victor Brisbin
As a follow up thought, most instructions by native english writers for magic (or anything!) are usually just as convoluted. There are very few with the talent to explain in clear, simple language. But if there were more, then the demand for DVD's would disappear.
"It is better to practice a little than talk a lot." - Muso Kokushi
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