Lost in translation?

Just saw that there’s now a Vietnamese edition of Furiously Happy, which is amazing and surreal. I always do a google translation on the covers, but this translation is probably one of my favorites:

Cover translation?

Of course, that’s just what my computer auto-translated it to and it’s probably wrong so I decided to use the google translate camera app. Google translate wasn’t entirely sure what was going on and changed it’s mind every second but here’s what it was pretty sure my book was probably about:


And my personal favorite:


I’m still not entirely sure what the true translation is but it made me laugh either way and now I’m starting to like it. Check out HAPPINESS CAN DIE! KEEP IT AWAY! in bookstores now.

Yep. That sings.

40 thoughts on “Lost in translation?

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Hahahahaha I am sooo happy that there is a Vietnamese version of Furiously Happy!!! I wish i could read it right now. I wonder how the author translated some of the more difficult wordplays in your book, like your “lady garden”. As a Vietnamese, I am happy with the translation title,I think it carries a light-hearted vibe 🙂 I am so happy!

  2. I finally got my hubby to begin reading this book after damn near peeing myself many-a-times, running into his office to show him an excerpt or two throughout my own divulging of Furiously Happy, aka, Happy Phuc.

    He’s a little ways in, and sides with your hubby, where I constantly hear “patient” and “saint” while he giggles and rubs his temples, and how.. yes, you’re my spirit animal, lol. I was simply trying to show him that there are others out there (but “among us” sounds creepily better!).

    And having lived in Japan a few times, “Lost in Translation” (one of our fave movies!), absolutely makes me smile to hear. There were quite a few interesting Engrish shirts I purchased during my stay. Needless to say, my relatives have NEVER worn them out in public.

    Cheers to the Taxidermy Necromancer!
    \(^ – ^)/ !!!

  3. Happy onion can die. This was my final result. Before that Google translate said Hanh= happy, and phuc= happy. Then it decided an onion got involved.

    As far as my poorly typed cut di duoc, the result was go away. When I added the proper marks I got “can die”

    So, the Vietnamese have decided to be ambivalent about he title.

    My choice is “Happy onion can die.” I don’t think I want my onions to be happy when they are about to die. That’s just plain wrong.

  4. That’s hysterical! I love every translation option google gave you. I bet none of them are right but I also bet you’ve got some great title ideas for your next book now, right? Lol!

  5. Or…you can just put in the words to find their definitions, and you get “Happiness Blessing”. The book was indeed that, to me *Yay*. And, since I find that Jenny, as a person, is truly a blessing of happiness for/to me, this all works!!

  6. My Vietnamese speaking friend confirmed that Happiness Can Die is the translation. Without knowing who Jenny Lawson is, she thought it was hilarious.

    (So awesome. ~ Jenny)

  7. This is so fantastic and gave me a much needed laugh today 😂 on the subject of your books in different languages..I’m wondering if it would be possible to get a Japanese translation but still get it autographed by you? Not sure if those logistics would work out. I have a sweet friend and she reads and speaks English very well, but recently told me that she can read faster (and probably enjoys more) when it’s in Japanese.

    (It’s not in Japanese, sadly. I wish it was! ~ Jenny)

  8. … and this is why I have been terrified to try and learn a new language.

  9. Lol! Gotta love translators! The Star Trek universal translator ain’t got nothing on Google!

  10. Mousegoddess,
    I think you guys nailed it!
    “I’m so happy I could die” sounds like a genuine effort to translate the title.

  11. This is so funny, and timely. I JUST finished listened to the Audible recording of the book for the eleventy-billionth time (I have all of your books in paperback and also from Audible and I read the paperback copies first and was delighted, in the last year, to find them all on Audible. I am telling you I am a 67 year old disabled senior citizen who has lived with lifelong mental health issues and your books just save me over and over again. Lately I’ve had a very hard time so I just listened to all 3 again and just your voice, hearing you read them, is priceless. I will always want to have a paper copy but the Audible recordings are an enormous treat! I would love to be in your book club but it’s not in the budget for me, however I have watched all of your YouTube videos with the authors and they are just a delight. And you are beyond adorable and I love you to pieces. And the ongoing stories about you and Victor may be the funniest things I have ever read. Keep on Keeping on Mama, you’re the best!

    Much Love,

    Maitri 🤗💖

    P.S. I think you should market stuffed animals of Rory. We all need him in our lives! 😍

  12. I’m not in the bookclub due to never enough time, but I’d love to set up maitrilibellule ^23^ with the books. How do we make this happen?

  13. OMG! I just had my right thyroid out*, less than 13 hours ago, and laughing huuuuuuuuurts. !ut OMG ROFL! This was worth the pain! Thank you.

    *I’m fine, it was a benign lump and I knew that going in. It was just getting big enough to push on my esophagus, and that is a bad thing for people who like to breath and swallow.

  14. Based on Karen’s experience, I’d call the book “I’m a Lonely Little Petunia in an Onion Patch.”

  15. I definitely need to read this book, not with the raving reviews about it.

    A friend was going on about it the other day which spurred my interest about it and now seeing this post…

  16. I’m a big fan of “happy onions can die”, though, I, too, don’t want my onions to be happy (or have any emotion, really) when they die, because that is just rude.

  17. Let’s also just say how freakin’ cool it is that you are being, well, laughed at in Vietnam. That must surely blow your mind, right? I think it’s great, and it makes me, well, worship you even more.

  18. “Happiness Gets Resuscitated” happens when we read your books and blogs, Jenny. Laughing/breathing/loving.

  19. Aw, too bad they didn’t translate it as “Furiously Phucing Happy” or even “Furiously Happy Phuc”! Heehee!

  20. OMG I needed this. Struggling mightily with depression and anxiety and a good laugh always helps!!

  21. Apparently, “determined to be extremely happy” = quyết tâm cực kỳ hạnh phúc.

    But Happy Phuc is definitely better for those of us Stateside …

  22. Hi, I am a long time fan, and a clinical psychologist, and I deeply respect the journey you have gone through and your AMAZING humor and prose. It is also true that my husband has a TMS/ketamine clinic in Cambridge that has been doing amazing work for five years. So much has to do with the dosage for ketamine, and the environment, and as you say, the anxiety etc. So much for TMS has to do with the schedule—we are learning things all the time from the research. My husband’s clinic has been working to do every possible research-indicated—and clinically indicated—thing to get every possible edge on this awful disease. Thank you so much for open about the options you have tried, and also for being such an f-ing amazing hilarious genius person who has brought so much to all of our lives.
    All love and gratitude,
    Heather Thompson-Brenner, PhD

  23. I have lived in Vietnam for the last three years and can attest that this is pretty normal. I have Vietnamese Facebook friends and the translate option on Facebook is basically useless.

    I don’t know what it is about Vietnamese, but computers just do not seem to understand it. I’ve seen some insane stuff, that I KNOW had to be translated incorrectly.

  24. I just asked my Vietnamese teacher, who said it translates as “extremely happy”.

    When I asked specifically about “chet di duoc” she said:
    “literally means ‘can die’ but when you use this phrase it means ‘extremely’ so hanh phuc chet di duoc literally means you are too happy that you could die from this happiness. And it means ‘extremely happy’.”

    Google translate is pretty useless for idioms, I think.

  25. Translated words can be funny. I have a few words in my dialect that translate to entirely different things when my hubby tries them

    Comparing these two sets of words always gives us a good life.

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