Chinese t-shirts with English slogans

This morning I read this article in the Guardian newspaper: ‘My favourite salad is books’ – why the French love badly translated slogan T-shirts: “It might simply be that we have gone post-logo, with slogans proving so common that they no longer have any proper meaning. They are simply words that look nice on cloth”. Oh la la! French people are usually considered trendsetters, but in this regard I’m afraid I have to say they are mere followers: everybody knows that the absolute kings of nonsense English text in t-shirts are the Asians. If you don’t know what I mean, google asia tshirt english and have a look yourself. Our fellow blogger Ray Hecht has also posted hilarious Chinglish clothes before. I’ve sometimes seen funny t-shirts on the street, but I’m either not fast enough to take a photo or I don’t dare snapping a picture at someone’s chest. But where do Chinese people get their t-shirts? Surely many of them are bought in Taobao! So I went to check what I could find when I searched for the keywords “t shirt” and “English”. Because I am a serious and scientific researcher, I classified and separated the results in several groups. Here they are:

– Correct English that makes no sense on a t-shirt

“Favorite restaurants in London”. Ok. Cool. At least you could have used the British spelling of favourite.

“Why are you still talking”. Why are you written on a t-shirt?

I always wanted to have a bland shirt.

This one is quite good: it’s the Wikipedia definition of t-shirt, haha. And the picture was taken in Ikea! (And the girl looks like she forgot to wear pants, but that’s another story).


– Suspicious grammar

“Techniques of photographing”. A very inspiring slogan to show on your chest.

“Hurry for you”. Not sure what this is supposed to mean.


– Sentences that make no sense

“Sunshine girl!
You see
shine my heart
Surely this has to be a haiku?

“Fcase note!
This will only be accepted
King remains attached”.

– Typos

“LIFEIS deouie not Meaning”. So deep, man.

Ok, I have no idea what this is supposed to be.

For Chinese people who haven’t studied English and are not familiar with the Latin alphabet, mistaking an L for an E is actually quite common. Like it would be hard for someone who doesn’t know Chinese to differentiate between 大 and 犬, maybe.

Rotternam is a lovely city close to Amsternam.

Where exactly is “heaver”? And bad girls go where?? 


Bonus track: this t-shirt is not from Taobao. One of C.’s colleagues was wearing it once (although it was originally bought in Taobao probably). It even has a word in Spanish!

“Interro gation
Set of cufflinks Nice pair
Got his cojones on my desk in there”.


If you would like to purchase any of these fantastic t-shirts, please let me know. If there are a lot of interested parties I might even start a business reselling from Taobao, hahaha.