I have an interest in working with electronics. I sometimes buy small electronic circuit boards on eBay that are shipped directly from China. The Chinese are very, very polite and quite aggressive salespeople. They really want your business. Not only that, they manufacture what is technically known as kick-ass electronic circuits at a very low cost.

Since my supply of these hobby circuits may be curtailed or even eliminated by the current administration’s shotgun tariff approach to trade negotiation, I thought it might be the time to celebrate the amazing and amusing way the Chinese use English in the instructions they usually include with these parts.

Of course, I would never make fun of the way Chinese speak English and only stand in awe of their abilities. Saying “Hello” is all I can manage in Mandarin and I certainly don’t speak or even recognize Cantonese so I already concede that they have a great advantage in the language department; they can speak at least two languages in addition to being fabulous engineers and marketing magicians. All things considered, they are probably much smarter than I am. However, that doesn’t make their English phrasing any less amusing.

Now that we’ve gotten all the political and societal correctness things out of the way, let’s see how entertaining English can be when butchered by whom we all acknowledge are very intelligent people but who, you know, do not talk the Amaricano as handsome like I and us.

At the bottom of an eBay listing, one of the Chinese vendors outlines their mission:

“Our aim: best price and best quality for you. Make long cooperation with our older customer. Do our best to satisfy all of our customers and make they feel happy and safety with the business.”

Okay, I’m on board with all that as I can just feel the safety and I’m sure they meant no offense when they referred to me as their “older customer.” But moving on, under this statement of intent, in very big pink block letters, it simply states: “Pleasure You.” Excuse me; pleasure you? If I could make this up, believe me I would.

Other vendors declare:

“Please be feel relieved to purchase.”

“So don’t hesitate, be confidently bid it now!”

“Please kindly let us know if any problem dear.”

One seller points out that his product “is easy connection and simplicity to use.” And even though it is “easy connection” they suggest also installing an electrician as they continue: “Professional Installation of qualified electrician is highly recommended.”

Another circuit that controls lighting is touted “With small size … it is easy to operate and it will help you to hold a woderful parties.” I once attended a woderful party but everyone drank so much they ended up not being able to spell enything.

Instead of declaring that their voltage regulator will normally operate at an elevated temperature, one marketer said “product regulator slight fever is a normal phenomenon.” And if you don’t find what you want, they add, “We can custom your design or deplicate as a sample. Then we can do some help!” Works for me.

Safety is often addressed in the instructions and one company worries that you may spill some electricity. They warn you to “Make sure connecting wire is connected and sealed well to avoid defending electricity leakage.”

You also have to know that shipping from China “sometimes may be later for serious reason such as Strikes, Festivals, cataclysmal, snow, etc.” They don’t mention tariffs.

If our elected leaders in Washington get wind of this trend, they will accuse the Chinese of a reckless assault on our language justifying even more punitive tariffs. Everybody relax. The only reason that China has gotten far ahead of us in assaulting our language is because we didn’t take time to learn any Chinese while we were busy losing our sense of humor. I just hope that when we get around to normalizing trade with China again, our blunders when translating to Mandarin will be at least as amusing to the Chinese as their English is to us.

By the way, never cut off that third prong on the power cord which is used as an electrical ground because as one vendor warns, if you do “you may have a large occurrence.” We all need to be better grounded. We don’t need a “large occurrence.”