Phrases For Taipei Cops

Have the Taipei cops recently asked if you teach English? Don’t worry, they’re probably not out to bust you. They may really be looking for an English tutor.


A certain Taipei City Councilor named Wang Yu-chen from the People’s Firsty Party is demanding Mayor Ma see to it that the city’s finest improve their English. (The story ran in the Taipei Times on 6-21-2003)


It seems that there is a veritable tidal wave of terrible, brutal, heinous acts being commited against the capital’s law abiding citizens by hordes of desperados. But are they caught? No! Are they rounded up and filmed by TV news crews in order to be made an example of so that the nation’s vitruous but impressionable youth will not associate with such vermin? No!


Because when confronted by the police for some infraction, like singing too loudly at a KTV, these sneaky furriners weasel their way out of the can by pretending they do not speak Mandarin. What gall! What an afront to national dignity! Wang feels that this contemptible behavior from foreign ne’er-do-wells humiliates the cops and must be stopped immediately.

No joke - Wang actually tested some higher level cops on their English ability, demanding they read out loud and translate a bunch of sentences that included:

 "Please sign your ticket" 

 "Do you have amphetamines or any illegal drugs on you?" 

Your mission, should you decide to accept, is to come up with a comprehensive list of absolutely essential phrases that Wang may have left off his test. And of course, as always, the more absurd the phrase is, the better.

So sit down, grab the beverage of your choice, get sufficiently creative and start cranking out key English phrases that you think Taipei’s coppers should be able to use to question lauwai.

To get things rolling, how about this one?

 Your father doesn't work at AIT does he?

What can you come up with?

“It doesn’t matter”
“I didn’t see anything”
“This is Taiwan”
“Go away”
“You foreigners are all the same”

These are phrases I get all the time from so-called “Policemen” whenever I need help.

The Monty Python Austro-Hungarian phrasebook would be my starting point.

“My hovercraft is full of eels”

“My nipples explode with the light”

“Would you like to come back to my place bouncy bouncy”

“Drop your panties Sir William, I cannot wait 'til lunchtime”


I would add:

Have you eaten?
Do you eat Chinese food?
Can you use chopsticks?
It’s not that I don’t know, just that I don’t want to tell you.
Could you wait till I get more points for busting you to do this?
Can you speak Chinese?
McDonalds is that way.

Mathewh, this was the owner at the buffet restaurant, not a cop.


PS If they bust out the English, than I’ll just go with the German. I can use all those silly phrases I pester poor Iris for. ImaniOu was with me when I did it to a cop in Kaoshiung when he caught me turning right on red.

I saw the ridiculous article wazai refers to here in yesterday’s TT. Seems a certain PFP City Councilor’s panties are in a bunch because he heard about a confrontation between English speaking foreigners and locals in which the foreigners came out on top. He claims that the foreigners used their native language to discuss the situation with the police. Imagine that? When confronted with a difficult situation in a foreign country, wanting to speak one’s native language. The sheer gall!

Of course it was hearsay, reported by the locals who complained to him about it. Of course it was one-sided. Of course the not-too-bright councilor jumped to the conclusion that all foreigners in Taiwan look down on policemen and pretend not to speak Mandarin.

I’ve only been pulled over once here. I spoke in Mandarin.

Gotta be “delight”, no?

[color=blue]Essential English for Taiwan’s Law Enforcement Officials[/color]

We don’t check cheques or credit cards, that’ll have to be cash.

Perhaps you should have chosen the other KTV down the street. The girls are much more friendly. Next time, tell them I sent you.

You respect the police in insert relevant country here. Why don’t you respect us the same way? Is it because of the corruption, the incompetence, or both?

Would you like to get off with a warning? Bow down before me, I am your god!

You say she’s your girlfriend? I don’t believe that. Either you’ve paid for her or you’ve kidnapped her. Either way, you’re going down!


Gee, I wonder where he got that idea?

When I was going to college here I got a part-time job at the campus gate. Students weren’t allowed to park their motorcycles on campus then, but many of the foreigners would ride right in by pretending they didn’t speak any Chinese. (Ironically they were all students at the Mandarin school, so I knew they had pretty good Mandarin. Needless to say my English was good enough to handle their protests.)

“You do not have a licence. Your tyres are bald and not inflated to the correct pressure. Your headlight and/or tailight is/are defective. As are your indicators and speedometer. Grey smoke is pouring out of your exhaust. You have no insurance. Your bike is overloaded. Everything seems to be in order. Have a nice day.”

More Key Phrases the Police Should Know…

I don’t care if you saw another foreigner driving without a helmet. If he jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?

Touch your nose to your finger. Ha ha, tricked you.

Why do you foreign devils say that you park in a driveway and drive down a parkway?

I know you are, but what am I?

I’ll let you off if you say “The PFP Sucks” three times.

A few more phrases;

“You say there are robbers in your house? We’ll be there as soon as they’ve left. What? You say that’s too late? Oh, by our standards that’s right on time.”

“We drive around with our lights on so that the criminals will know we’re coming. That way, they’ll be able to get away and we won’t have to do any work.”

“American cops got it good, they’ve got donuts, what do they give us? F***n dofu!”

“Why stop those guys brawling? It’s a better view from here. We might get our uniforms dirty.”

“So let me get this, you were hit by someone driving recklessly, you’ve got the licence plate number and a description of the man. Why are you here?”