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Off topic: What is the funniest mistake you have come across when proofreading?
Thread poster: Paul Dixon

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Nov 20, 2008

My contribution:

(In a text about oil pumping systems)

One control panel capable of controlling and protecting the pimps below.


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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
I've seen many, but this one always comes to mind Nov 20, 2008

Button on an otherwise very clean, well translated user interface

Cagar (missing an r in Cargar = Download)... turned into Spanish for Shit.

[Edited at 2008-11-20 15:00 GMT]

[Edited at 2008-11-20 15:00 GMT]

[Edited at 2008-11-20 15:01 GMT]


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Feigola  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:44
Member (2007)
Spanish to Russian
+ ...
My contribution Nov 20, 2008

"the mother of the board of the computer"

(actually, "computer motherboard" as you may have guessed) )


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:44
English to Dutch
+ ...
Terms and conditions Nov 20, 2008

'Na deze periode heeft de klant geen recht meer op prostitutie'

'After this period, the client has no right anymore to prostitution'

Apparently, the Dutch spellchecker of MS Word doesn't recognize the word 'restitutie' (refund), so it (significantly?) changes it into the slightly similar looking word 'prostitutie'.
That's why I never use the spellchecker. My eyes aren't infallible, but I trust them way more than MS.


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Anne Diamantidis  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:44
German to French
+ ...
a hot financial statement Nov 20, 2008

the translator forgot a "s" : instead of "baisse" (for "decrease"), which gave "baise"...in French it means fu**.
I just can imagine the French investors' faces if they had read that in the Bank's annual accounts...:lol:


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:44
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Many.. Nov 20, 2008

but the following are at the top of my list:

*Platelets (the blood cells) translated into Italian as piastrelle (tiles!), instead of piastrine



*The Italian canino (canine tooth) translated as...dog







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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:44
English to German
+ ...
Logistics vs. gardening Nov 20, 2008

A gem that a cherished, yet understandably frustrated colleague just sent me:

INTERPLANT FREIGHT

PFLANZEN SIE FRACHT DAZWISCHEN (plant some freight in between)


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 11:44
Member (2003)
English to Czech
+ ...
Lightning staff Nov 20, 2008


was translated as "lighting personnel". The translator did not have a clue about computer games.


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 07:44
English to Spanish
heh Nov 20, 2008

1) "lecho de locas (bed of madwomen)" where it should've said "lecho de rocas (bed of rocks)"

- locas = madwomen / rocas = rocks


And my personal favourite:

2) "Estamos satisfechos con las maracas (we are happy with the whores)" where it should've said "Estamos satisfechos con las marcas (we are happy with the brands)"

- maracas = slang for "whores" / marcas = brands

Andrea


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Andrea Clarke  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:44
German to English
Funny Nov 20, 2008

I had a translation about a flower show where they were calculating the man hours for setting up the arrangements.
The translator had translated the Dutch "manuren" (man hours) into manure - to which I added the comment "not at a sweet smelling flower show"!!!

Andrea


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:44
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
One of my typical blunders Nov 20, 2008

When writing Finnish I often wright "keksi = cookie" instead of "keski = middle", so I get all kind of combination with cookie.
In Finnish it is especially easy to change meaning completely by changing a single letter.

[Bearbeitet am 2008-11-20 16:36 GMT]


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Donatella Cesca  Identity Verified
Bangladesh
Local time: 16:44
English to Italian
+ ...
No clues about languages! Nov 20, 2008

Che ne dite di queste due? Giuro che sono vere!

grand father e' diventato grandioso padre

e

son of late Mario Bianchi figlio del ritardato Mario Bianchi


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:44
English to French
+ ...
This may not be understood by non-francophones Nov 20, 2008

One of the funniest that I can remember was in an environmental assessment report. The phrase to be translated was "field sampling", which basically means sampling on the terrain. The translation was "échantillonnage dans le champ", which is a very literal translation. If I backtranslated it into English, it would still be "sampling in the field", but the intended meaning of field is terrain and not field as in field of periwinkles (the meaning of field in French is not a terrain, but rather a field, like a field of periwinkles). There is an expression in Quebec, "être dans le champ", which basically means to be confused. So, most people in Quebec would have understood it as confused sampling. The translator was from Quebec alright - but still, it seems he was a bit, erm... confused...

For the record, the correct translation would have been "prélèvement d'échantillons sur le terrain".

[Edited at 2008-11-20 16:47 GMT]


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:44
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cut the pie Nov 20, 2008

In a chidren's elementary school book:

"Cut the pie" was translated as "Cortar el pie" = Cut the foot

Luckily I caught this one. Otherwise, a table or a child could have ended without a foot...


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 12:44
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
This comes to mind Nov 20, 2008

"Indian summer" translated in Latvian with the meaning = "summer of indians". Was laughing all day I must admit

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