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Mistranslations leading to disasters
Thread poster: ViktoriaG

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:04
English to French
+ ...
Mar 28, 2009

On this forum, there have been discussions of professional insurance and real-life stories of translators being responsible for messages lost in translation resulting in serious consequences.

I am wondering if you can tell us about stories of such disastrous consequences. I am not necessarily looking for stories of translators being sued for the consequences of mistranslation and stories where the disastrous consequences went as far as causing death. I am interested in stories in general where a mistranslation has caused misunderstandings between governments, delays in trials, people taking unnecessary risks, etc.

If a friend of a friend of yours has been through this kind of trouble, let's read about it! Bonus points if you can post links to newspaper stories and such. A typical example would be http://english.siamdailynews.com/asia-news/eastern-asia-news/taiwan-news/brochures-mistranslation-raises-ire-of-aborigines.html

I am not sure if this is the proper forum to post this, so please feel free to move this if need be.

Thanks!


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Alfredo Fernández Martínez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:04
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mistranslation in Japanese surrender in WWII Mar 28, 2009

http://books.google.es/books?id=JTvdhvkVAB0C&pg=PA120&lpg=PA120&dq=world%20war%20II%20japan%20mistranslation&source=bl&ots=ZMz_J0dJzQ&sig=QmH_C9r1RFgofcz2IlWhZbUff4o&hl=es&ei=BevNSanfL5KosAbSncTvDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result#PPA120,M1


Or, at least, this is what they lead us to believe.


Alfredo


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