Chinese English Business Names That Won’t Fly Outside of China

The Chinese have a love affair with all things Western, so capitalism is, of course, cool!  We have been observing Chinese businesses.  They have made up what they think are good English business names that they think will draw in business.  The names though are Chinglish…they make some sense…but not necessarily enough to English speakers to draw them into the store.  In fact, they are often so off-putting that they may send English-speakers’ business away.  Maybe Chinese like it, as many can understand a bit of English.

Some store names are relatively innocuous, like “IHappy” or “HOWRU” (How are you?). The names are cute enough, and maybe they will lure you in.  Maybe you will buy something, spend those RMB, keep the Chinese economy buzzing along at near double-digit annual increases!

Other English business names are unclear as to what they mean.  For example “fGfeel”…hmmm?  What does that mean?  It sells clothes that look like women’s clothes, so maybe it means “Feel like a Girl”…?  Not really sure…can’t help thinking about “G-string” with the use of G in the middle…maybe it’s some Chinese lewd message?

Then we get to business names that will not work in English speaking countries.  Like the “Hun Store”.  This is supposed to let the Germans know they can shop here, but something is definitely lost in translation.  Then we have our favorite.  This store is named “Icki.”  Enough said!  We keep looking for other interesting English names of shops.   There are new ones opening up each day, as China races forward with their communist capitalist ideas.  This brings us to a store that opened in our city recently.  The name of the store:  “FairWhale Jeans.”  Can you hear it now, as the commercial says, “Look like a whale in your new FairWhale Jeans!”  Not gonna happen soon in your English speaking neighborhood!  The Chinese probably see the whale as a strong animal, worthy of being honored with their own name jeans.  However, it just doesn’t carry over to those who speak English.  Shanghai has been pushing for a “Chinglish Police” to get rid of bad English use that makes people laugh, but with new stores opening daily, good luck!


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