Being in the translation business, we see some rippers from time to time. We’ve had clients that sent us text translated in China or somewhere else and they weren’t aware till we told them how riddled with errors they were. One recently was a sales pitch on a wine label describing tasting participants’ words – the wine was delicious and juicy. The only problem was that ‘juicy’ had obviously been looked up in a dictionary or online translator and rendered as ‘saucy’ or ‘titillating’. Or could it be that was what the wine maker meant!
This one really takes the cake though and is a warning to anyone using online machine translation – you don’t always get what you want – or you always get what you pay for. A new restaurant opening in China wanted its sign in English – “dining hall”. When it went into the online translator, what came back was “server error”. So that is what went on the sign. I guess you could say that at least it was related to a restaurant and what they serve – but not something the customers would be happy about.
We’d love to hear of any translation bloopers you come across and we’ll credit you with the revelation on the Chin Communications website.