I have a cousin in Japan and a brother-in-law who used to live there, so maybe a story like this cuts me a little deeper than most. At the very least, if you publish a phrase book that you know is completely erroneous, you should label it as humor or satire and include the correct phrase. Otherwise, you’re arming unsuspecting tourists with a weapon that could get them hurt or killed. A very sad state of affairs.
A somewhat related phenomenon is that of “Engrish“. This misuse of the English language occurs when Asian cultures appropriate western symbols and phrases without regard to their definitions or connotations. Pretty funny gaffes.
As you can see, the English language, while the de facto tongue of the First World, still isn’t perfect. After all, it’s imperfect people that thought it up and use it every day. Think twice before you type your next email.