Now I can read my own writing the way you do: With utter incomprehension


In my mailbox yesterday arrived a few complimentary copies of the Japanese translation of my book. (Note: Still available in English.) I cracked the Japanese edition open and confirmed what I already knew: I can't read a lick of Japanese.

But now I know how you all feel when you read this Web site: It's page after page of text that makes no sense whatsoever.

Comments (27)
  1. John says:

    So, basically we are the Chris Tucker to your Jackie Chan?

  2. jeffdav says:

    Oh come on.  If it were as incomprehensible as you suggest, it wouldn’t have the huge number of readers that it does.  

  3. Hurt as well says:

    Lacking social skills and a tolerance for idiocy is one thing. I can relate to that. It’s something totally different to post a blanket insult to everyone that reads your blog and/or your book.

    It doesn’t matter how smart you are, being a dick is still being a dick.

    (Why did you link to Amazon? Does insulting people spur them into buying your product?)

    [I wasn’t insulting you. I was insulting me. Occasionally somebody spoofs my Web site by making it out to be utterly incomprehensible, so I figured I’d run with it. -Raymond]
  4. Robert says:

    Ummmm, so your book is available in English and Japanese?  Just checking because I’m not sure what you mean by your main book page.  The Amazon page you link to lists no translations and the blog page you link to has an “Update: Now available in Japanese.”  If there’s some other page or other editions available then I’m missing it.

    [It’s the link called “I wrote a book.” That collects all information about the various book editions. -Raymond]
  5. Krisztián Pintér says:

    But we like the pictures. So i recommend you should make more pictures.

  6. not Raymond Chen says:

    To all you people who can’t take (or understand) a joke:  

    Sure, I might offend a few of the bluenoses with my cocky stride and musky odors — oh, I’ll never be the darling of the so-called "City Fathers" who cluck their tongues, stroke their beards, and talk about "What’s to be done with this Raymond Chen?"

  7. Triangle says:

    [I wasn’t insulting you. I was insulting me. Occasionally somebody spoofs my Web site by making it out to be utterly incomprehensible, so I figured I’d run with it. -Raymond]

    You most certainly are insulting us! You’ve implied that you can read your blog with relative comprehension, while the rest of us can’t :)

  8. nobody says:

    I wonder who would win in a battle of the Raymonds: Chen or Eric S.?  Ready, set, DODGEBALL!

  9. gah says:

    "You most certainly are insulting us! You’ve implied that you can read your blog with relative comprehension, while the rest of us can’t :)"

    The joke wasn’t that we aren’t capable of comprehending the material, it was that his own writing is incomprehensible.  My, you people are touchy.

  10. alex.r. says:

    Of course we’re touchy, there I was, working really hard to look like I understood what Raymond was talking about, going ‘huh huh’ after each block of monospaced text, and he goes on and blows my cover!

    But, yeah, I agree with Krisztián, we could use some more pictures over here… to explain all that monospaced text. ;)

  11. Raymond,

    How many other languages is the book available in?

    [All the languages* are listed on the main book page (a link to which appears on every page in this blog). (* Nitpicker’s corner: All the languages in which my book is available**, not all the languages in the world. **To the extent that I am aware of them.) -Raymond]
  12. AndyLee says:

    Since I’m a chinese,and my English is not very well,there’s a really hard thing to understand what you wrote.But,I’m always try to do that.

  13. SM says:

    @Hurt as Well, et al: The intent of the post was Raymond’s own version of self-deprecating humor.  There’s no reason to feel insulted.

    Although, it’s kind of funny that some people had trouble comprehending *this* post!

  14. Still Confused says:

    "Although, it’s kind of funny that some people had trouble comprehending *this* post"

    So let’s call it a draw.  This post is insulting to everybody :-)

  15. AK says:

    "Sure, I might offend a few of the bluenoses with my cocky stride and musky odors…"

    Raymond is still a Simpsons fan at heart!

    http://www.snpp.com/guides/lisa-6.html#6.1

  16. Ross Bemrose says:

    "I wasn’t insulting you. I was insulting me. Occasionally somebody spoofs my Web site by making it out to be utterly incomprehensible, so I figured I’d run with it. -Raymond"

    I read the parody over on their site, and I must admit I laughed.

  17. ulric says:

    hillarious :)

  18. James Day says:

    The truly interesting question is whether the Japanese translation was successful in translating your sense of humour. Many English natives seem to miss it in the English version, so it may have proved a challenge for translation also.

    For the avoidance of doubt, this is intended to be a humorous wondering about the translatability of humour and not an insult to any party other than translators and their problems collectively. Translators who are offended please accept my humble apologies and laugh at the two to the power of three that I scored in my last foreign language test.

  19. Morten says:

    Erm.. sorry, no. You don’t have ANY idea how it is to read a blog that’s *nearly* comprehensible. ;-) The worst part is that if I did my homework I *would* be able to understand it. And I’m so lazy. Hate, hate, hate… Feed me, Seymour! ;-)

  20. Simon Cooke says:

    Well, I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I read Raymond’s blog, all I see is this:

    Blahhhh! Blahhh! I’m a fish! I’m a fish! Cover me in custard and call me Penny! I’m a fish!

    … yet oddly, I still keep coming back ;-)

  21. Igor Levicki says:

    Raymond, if you use Firefox, there is an addon called RikaiChan which can help you kickstart your Japanese comprehension skills.

  22. Tom Spis says:

    Dear Hurt and Hurt As Well,

    I take it both of you are old enough to should have learned by now that when something could be potentially interpreted as an insult, it probably shouldn’t be – assume good will and chuckle along.

    Otherwise – assuming the intent was humour – you may end up coming across as socially inept – which is likely already suspected, making note of the reputation of this blog’s reader base. Even worse, you may end up coming across as that about-to-go-postal "Ddddid you see my thtapler?!?!" guy from "Office Space", who obviously hasn’t discovered the brighter side of humanity since being a target of those "let’s kick the geek in the face" high school games we all probably have been targets of at some point in our teenage years.

    Let me assure you that chances are quite high that Raymond Chen isn’t going to attempt to belittle his loyal blog readers by talking down to them and implying that they’re imbeciles – last time I checked, this wasn’t a public humiliation fetish blog.

    So… may as well lighten up. No one will benefit more from it than yourself. You always have a choice as to how you interpret your environment – if you apply the glass-half-empty filter to your view of the world, than your queries will always return the same results. Makes sense, no?

    Just chuckle. Life’s better-looking that way (and you probably are, too.) And if someone is indeed insulting you, nothing will annoy them more than the prospect that their insult didn’t reach their intended audience – which is exactly what will happen when you nod your head and smile ;]

    …and in case you’re still confused, let me take this opportunity and quote a previous commentator –

    "I’m a fish! Cover me in custard and call me Penny!"

    Happy Holidays and All That Jazz

  23. i dislike raymond intensely. says:

    You, sir, are an asshole.

    [At least I use my real name. -Raymond]
  24. mikeb says:

    The parody site nailed the VML thing – outstanding!

  25. Tom G says:

    That spoof by the Reg is hilarious. I have felt like that on more than one occasion. I stay well clear of Win32 stuff, so when you go into depth on that, it’s indistinguisable fmo the spoof!

    Jus a shame that there are those dumb enough to miss the humour, yet smart enough to figure out how to post a comment.

  26. Josh says:

    You most certainly are insulting us! You’ve implied that you can read your blog with relative comprehension, while the rest of us can’t :)

Comments are closed.