I sit with a group of technical writers at work. Every so often, we’d email or chat about funny English translations we’ve seen around Shanghai / China. It’s a great source of laughter and entertainment for an otherwise quiet and dull afternoon where everybody stares at the computer screen like a zombie digesting an earlier meal. Another source of good laughter for a comatose afternoon is Engrish.com.
One time, a colleague asked if we’ve ever heard of the song “Ken Lee” by Mariah Carey. I don’t listen to pop music so I wouldn’t know. It’s funny I should mention that the only pop concert I ever attended in my life was Mariah Carey’s first (and only) concert in Shanghai. Back in my teaching days, I often get invitations from parents to all sorts of events. One time, a parent gave me a set of Mariah Carey concert tickets. I wasn’t interested, but went anyway just to say I’ve been to a pop concert and saw Mariah Carey live.
The concert was very short and the tickets were ridiculously expensive. At least i didn’t pay for the tickets, but I was very surprised to see the stadium packed with so many Chinese fans. I don’t remember any of the songs Mariah sang during that concert, but I certainly don’t remember any songs called “Ken Lee.” So I was curious why my colleague asked about it. She told us to go home and YouTube the song. (One of these days, YouTube will be a verb in the official English dictionary.)
I looked up “Ken Lee” on YouTube and after watching it, my stomach was in pain from laughing too hard. I’ve posted the video below for your entertainment.