Photo of the Week – The Secret to Happiness Is…

Singaporeans have Singlish. Chinese have Chinglish. The Latin community has Spanglish. Where’s Vietnamglish? Vietglish? Vietnameseglish?

See? You can’t even make a decent word out of the combinations!

What I’ve found strange about Vietnam is that there really isn’t that much English spoken outside of the tourism industry. Yes, students get a weekly dose of English, but usually taught by teachers who can barely string a sentence together themselves. The harsh tones and monosyllabic words in Vietnamese also don’t translate well to rhythmic English. So I’m bummed that there aren’t as many signs in Google Translated English to laugh at.

I even had to look long and hard to find this Tears for Fears snafu at my local supermarket.

But recently, I saw this sign above a wedding photography shop:

In case you can’t read it, it says: “Today’s the day we’ll say I do and we’ll never be lonely anymore because we’re”

We’re WHAT? Do NOT leave me hanging!

$50,000 in debt because of this hay-uge party?

ecstatic over getting cash (the Vietnamese custom) instead of crappy water goblets re-gifted from Target like silly Westerners?

getting married and moving in with our parents? (another Vietnamese custom)

If you promise me the secret to happiness, you’d better deliver. Or at least make me laugh. Your choice, really…



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6 thoughts on “Photo of the Week – The Secret to Happiness Is…

    1. James Post author

      I know! I feel like I’m being deprived of humor… I think it’s maybe that outside of the very touristy neighborhoods, Vietnamese don’t much care for tourists. It’s not like they are mean to them; they just don’t go out of their way to be helpful. The very few menus I’ve seen in restaurants outside of the tourist areas have had terrible English, but most of them have no English at all! But I do like “Vietnaminglish”!
      James recently posted..Iconic Saigon – The Caravelle HotelMy Profile

  1. Louise FitzGerald

    Good to see you are back blogging, James. I enjoy a regular diet of insights into life in HCMC.

  2. Heloise

    Aha so many sentences that are memorable in English in Vietnam!
    I was offered a notebook by one of my friends before leaving (well, I think it is imported from China), but I have this beautiful “I’m bear! Are you remember me?” written in the illustrations, as well as a “Time is flying never return”. Gorgeous.
    Heloise recently posted..Le Charité, LyonMy Profile


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