Lost in Translation

09Apr07

Ok, this has nothing to do with the movie, but I do need some translation. I was hoping that someone might be able to decipher the text on this package. It’s a box of green tea I received recently as a gift. About the only thing I know about it is that its green tea (there’s a little red sticker, with “Green Tea” written on it in English, so I was able to figure that one out on my own. You can hold the applause.)

The pictures aren’t great, but hey, no one ever accused me of being a photographer.

test 107

test 111

test 110

test 113

Any ideas?

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4 Responses to “Lost in Translation”

  1. 1 Phyll

    I don’t read Chinese too well (only a little, shamefully). So I asked my Chinese friends for some help. Allow me.

    The packaging materials (canister and mylar bag) don’t say anything about the tea itself…at least not in the pictures that you posted above.

    Top pic (canister): 2 large characters in the middle label say “Tea Enjoyment” or “Tea Fun”.

    2nd pic (mylar bag):
    Top right header says “The main reasons to get good tea.”
    — bullet point 1: “fitting to your taste” (duh!)
    — bullet point 2: “reasonably priced” (duh again!)

    2nd header says “Our Service Promises” or “Our guarantee” in the context of the company’s business philosophy.

    — bullet point 1: “free tasting” (I guess if you visit their store they will willingly offer you free tastings)

    — bullet point 2: this doesn’t make sense as I asked several knowledgable people whose Chinese is their 1st language. It says “Quality is not like what you expected” but in the negative way like saying “You are not getting what you expect to get”. My friends think that it was badly written. They probably wanted to say “Our quality will exceed your expectation” or something like that but instead they combined the characters in such a way that they don’t mean well. Chinese labels, as you may know, are notoriously known for misspellings and unintended double meanings.

    — bullet point 3: “return and exchange”…basically saying that they accept returns and exchanges if the customer is not satisfied.

    The 3rd pic, the mylar bag in the middle (3 characters written vertically) is the name of the company “Yi Pin Xiang”, which means literally translated as One-Taste-Fragrant.

    I think I can already imagine you saying: “Duh! Nothing about the tea itself?”…and I feel the same way. 🙂

    What tea is that supposed to be? Reminds me of Long Jing but from Taiwan or a Taiping Monkey King (Taiping Houkui).

  2. I couldn’t have asked for a more detailed response. Thanks Phyll! I’m going to brew some of my One-Taste-Fragrant tea now. I wonder if I’ll get what I expected to get, or as the bag promises, “not what I expected to get”!!

  3. 3 Phyll

    Ah, now I know! This is where the business genius of the Chinese lies:

    If the quality is not as you expected, then you can’t return/exchange it, because they’ve fulfilled their promise! You can only return or exchange it if you like the product or if you get what you expect to get in the first place. Catch 22.

    Brilliant!


  1. 1 Is it just me... « Tea. Uncomplicated

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