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Off topic: Atrocious translations! (G>E)
Thread poster: Mary Worby

Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:57
Member
German to English
+ ...
Mar 16, 2003

Every time I go abroad, I never cease to be amazed by the number of dodgy, shoddy and just plain atrocious translations there are out there!



But the one that took the biscuit this time was the translation of \'Abräumwagen\' in the self-service café at Hahn airport. Even knowing the German it took a while to work it out! In a genius piece of dictionary translation, it has been rendered as a \'clear-dare\' in English! On properly printed signs ... doesn\'t say much for their QA process.



Pity I didn\'t have a black marker pen with me. Maybe I should take one in future



FWIW



Mary

[ This Message was edited by:MaryRon2003-03-16 09:19]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:57
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Assorted prickles Mar 16, 2003

This one came from the menu of the Fine Arts Circle, where the recent Madrid pow-wow took place last week. The original was \"surtido de pinchos\" (toothpick canapés).

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Jalapeno
Local time: 18:57
English to German
Not so much a bad translation... Mar 16, 2003

...but a humiliating typo. The city of Munich recently bought I don\'t know how many new S-Bahn (urban railway) cars. In each of these cars there are something like 8 doors. On each of these doors, there is a sticker, warning the passengers to be careful when they exit the train, because sometimes the platform is rather low. What the English version says, on a few hundred stickers, is \"caution with hight of floor\". Either I don\'t know that word, or somehow they missed an \"e\" and nobody noticed.

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John Bowden  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
German to English
Abfall and Abriss Mar 16, 2003

I love it! It takes a rare kind of genius to come up with that!



I remember seeing rubbish bins at a motorway service area in Germany with heavy iron lids, on which was embossed the legend: \"ABFALL - FALL OFF\"! I dread to think how much it had cost to cast and manufacture them!



And at the East Side Gallery in Berlin they have a \"translation\" on a photo of the Wall which reads: \"Berlin Wall, Construction 1961, Draft 1989\"



But the thing that gets me every time I stay in German hotels is the myriad of different English versions of the \"Please put your towels on the floor if you want them changing\" notice - all of them wrong! I keep meaning to compile a collection of them...


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:57
English to German
+ ...
Arrested for a ski pass... Mar 16, 2003

We spent a week at a hotel in Austria a few years ago - they had the following notice regarding the use of reusable ski passes which you could re-charge:



Quote:


Skipässe sind an der Rezeption gegen Kaution von ATS ... erhältlich.



Ski passes are available at reception against ATS ... bail.







When I pointed out the mistake, the lady at reception told me they had it done by a local translator...



Happy translating, Ralf

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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 18:57
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
One of my favorites is still the popular tree Mar 17, 2003

We encountered a classic translation while we were on holiday last year - the \"Pappelbaum\" rendered as the \"Popular tree\".



Alison


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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 13:57
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
And what about... Mar 17, 2003

the brand new car lines of Nissan and Mazda?. One is \"Laputa\" (which in spanish is equivalent to \"Thewhore\") and \"Moco\" (\"snot\" in plain Spanish). And guess what... the \"Moco\" comes in green colour too! (it´s actually the marketing official product photograph).



I believe it´s done on purpose, to have people comment on it... the possibility of a true mistake is to much to consider.



Cheers,

Rossana


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James Calder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:57
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Intrepid seafood Mar 17, 2003

From a menu in Gijón, northern Spain:



almejas a la marinera - seafaring clams



Pure genius.



jcal


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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:57
English to French
Could be worse... Mar 17, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-03-17 15:02, jcal wrote:

From a menu in Gijón, northern Spain:



almejas a la marinera - seafaring clams



Pure genius.



jcal





Imagine \"clam in the marines\". Actually, I am becoming oblivious to bloopers. Here, that\'s day in day out.



But one of my all time favorites is in the reception of a thai laundry service. It reads \"Drop your pants here for more pleasure.\". Oups.

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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 18:57
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Bravery Mar 17, 2003

There used to be a small bar going down the Ramblas (Barcelona) on the right-hand side with the day\'s \"specialities\" written on a slate.

In addition to such delicacies as \"slab chicken\" \"slab veal\" its star attraction (for foreigners at least) was, in Spanish \"callos\" (tripe).......on the slate it was called simply :



\"GUTS\"



Bon apetit.


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Yuri Geifman  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:57
Member
English to Russian
+ ...
somebody sent me a whole bunch of translation bloopers... Mar 18, 2003

Here\'s one of my favorites:



In a Nairobi restaurant:

CUSTOMERS WHO FIND OUR WAITRESSES RUDE OUGHT TO SEE THE MANAGER.



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Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:57
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
yuri Mar 18, 2003

that reminds me of a menu note assuring diners that \"all of the water served here has been personally passed by the manager\"

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Alexandre Khalimov  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:57
Russian to English
+ ...
Keeping on the restaurant theme Mar 18, 2003

I saw a menu item in a restaurant that read \"Tobacco Chicken\". Luckily for the owners the patrons were mostly Russian, who knew that this did not mean chicken meat stewed with cigarette butts or served in an ashtray but a dish form the cuisine of Caucasus Mountains.

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Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:57
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
tobacco chicken Mar 18, 2003

judging by a kudoz question for that very dish, i think i may know who translated that menu. she moves among us.

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 19:57
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
tobacco cuisine Mar 19, 2003

Well, tobacco is actually used as a spice too!

Well, most of those blunders are circulating already since the 1980\'s, when I got a compilation including the \"drop your trousers here...\"

I we ridicule people who communicate in foreign languages with tourists we are unjust. Are native English speakers immune against typos and other mistakes?

I am always delighted, when I see typos in Finnish newspapers and advertisements. They assure me, that the \"natives\" make mistakes too.


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