Can’t they hire ONE Englishman to proof their manuals?

Everyone’s had their laughs with instruction manuals written in Engrish; indeed, they can get quite hilarious. What bugs me, though, is the fact that these are seen not only in low quality products from second-rate or nameless producers. I can understand how a product that costs a couple of bucks would not have a manual written to the editorial standards of the Britannica… but what about leading vendors that produce expensive, top-quality consumer products?

I mean, look at the note below, which came as an insert in the instruction manual of my Lenovo Thinkpad docking station. That’s from the vendor IBM passed its notebook business to. And they tell us their product is “for use only”? And “not portable device”?

Lenovo manual insert

These are serious people, heaven knows. They make incredibly sophisticated machines that I’m proud to use. They have a company that is the fourth largest personal computer maker in the world, with 19,000 employees – so can’t they hire one single English speaker among them, to proof read their manual copy? Or do it remotely with someone living in the West, who’d get the copy in the mail and edit out the more blatant errors in a matter of hours? (Make me an offer, Lenovo guys!)

5 Responses to “Can’t they hire ONE Englishman to proof their manuals?”


  1. 1 Pil and Galia Kollectiv

    But might it prehouse the seamy side volitation? Good stuff – we are enjoying your new blog very much.

  2. 2 Nathan Zeldes

    First commenter award goes to Pil and Galia Kollectiv!

  1. 1 Engrish on a camera LCD screen protector at Commonsense Design
  2. 2 A noble piece of hardware! at Commonsense Design
  3. 3 Grand Prize for Engrish at Commonsense Design

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