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Poll: The funniest (incorrect) translation I've ever read was in / on
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:35
SITE STAFF
Oct 31, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "The funniest (incorrect) translation I've ever read was in / on".

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Mark Nathan  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:35
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
Menus Oct 31, 2007

Menus always make me laugh, I corrected one last week that offered:

All the unmissable friends of your cheese platter


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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:35
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Casablanca clasic Oct 31, 2007

Since we are going to America, we should practice our English
ahh, How much watch is it?
It is 6 watch
Ah, such much...

Can't watch (no pun intended) without laughing.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:35
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
French hotel fire escape instructions Oct 31, 2007

The fire escape instructions were incomprehensible and included the mysterious "stop when walking". Helpful in case of fire ...
Also, a notice board at the top of a long, steep hill to the château of Saumur, reading "Actually, the castle is closed". Actually, it would have been nice if the notice had been at the bottom of the hill ...
And countless menus, including in an Indian restaurant "pieces of lamp in our chef's special sauce", and so many more.
Regards,
Jenny.


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 10:35
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Capetown Oct 31, 2007

Capetown (Southafrica) was translated to "Pueblo de Cape" in Spanish.

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Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:35
Member (2003)
French to English
And to follow... Oct 31, 2007

Mark Nathan wrote:

Menus always make me laugh, I corrected one last week that offered:

All the unmissable friends of your cheese platter


The worst I've seen when revising menus was "Thick wolf roast" (presumably you'd have had to pay more for a clever wolf).

Laughter that quickly turned to tears as I remembered someone had actually been paid a pretty decent rate for that...


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:35
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
"Buscando el cuerpo" Oct 31, 2007

I'm affraid this is probably funny just for speakers of Spanish. In this movie some years ago, two girls find the body of a person they knew in the garden of a house they were sneaking in for some reason. I cannot remember why, but one of them felt the urge to look for something in the man's pockets:

- Girl A, quite upset: "¿Pero qué haces ahora?" ("What are you doing?")

- Girl B, frantically checking the dead man's pockets: "¡Estoy buscando el cuerpo!"

From her lips y could read "I am searching the body!" (in Spanish, "registrando el cuerpo"), but the script was translated as "I am looking for the body!".

This shocked me for weeks!!!


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Maria Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
user's manual for a "Jugador de DVD" Oct 31, 2007

For a DVD Player (translated as "Jugador de DVD"). It wasn't me but a colleague who has to deal with the proofreading. It was hilarious. The funniest I've ever read. Obviously my colleague suggested the agency not to pay to the translator, as it was absolutly unintelligible...

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Francesca Pesce  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:35
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
A toy: a transformer Oct 31, 2007

I actually opened a forum on this. Translation presumably Chinese>English.

The name of the transformer "Superduty Shuttle Robot"

"Specification:
Height: 12.7 m
Ponderancy: 47.5 ton
Lengthily: 8.6m
Width: 19.2m"
(I would need a stadium to keep this thing)

"The date is on the lines of photography effect arrive"
(this sentence is present 4 times on the box)

"Look at the picture,All the robots can setup at liberty."

"Shutle plane"

"Superduty shutle plane large deform"

"The five mechanism to begin with change to robot,re change to the model."

"Please gather up the salvation in one series"

And to finish in glory:

"Ceremoniously come on the scene."

I skipped nothing: i.e. there was not one correct sentence.
These sentences were on the box next to the pictures.


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Sandra Petch
Local time: 17:35
French to English
+ ...
Thanks for the smile :-) Oct 31, 2007

Mark Nathan wrote:

Menus always make me laugh, I corrected one last week that offered:

All the unmissable friends of your cheese platter



Ah, my old buddy Cheddar!


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 11:35
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
How do the voice over people swallow these gaffes? Oct 31, 2007

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:

- Girl A, quite upset: "¿Pero qué haces ahora?" ("What are you doing?")

- Girl B, frantically checking the dead man's pockets: "¡Estoy buscando el cuerpo!"

From her lips y could read "I am searching the body!" (in Spanish, "registrando el cuerpo"), but the script was translated as "I am looking for the body!".

This shocked me for weeks!!!


I can understand how a document can be mistranslated like this...but how can someone reading a script out loud say it without complaining or correcting it? I hear this type of thing all the time on TV programs dubbed into Spanish.


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 12:35
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
A manual Oct 31, 2007

The original was in German... but what a German version!
I posted part of it as a KudoZ... and one of the kind answerers told me "I feel compassion for you... this is rather an illness, not a manual".

After further inquiring with the agency, it came out that... the "original original" was in English, and what the agency had given me to translate was actually a (very bad) translation into German.
Of course, with the English original on sight, I finally could translate it... the style was that of an easy-reader for any user!


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Christine Schmit  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
German to French
+ ...
Chinese restaurant menu Oct 31, 2007

Menu of a Chinese restaurant translated from French into English and German:

Clogged of steam shrimp
Verstopft von Dampfgarnele

Chicken jumped to the vegetables
Chicken sprang zu den Gemüsen

Duck with the vegetables
Ducken Sie sich mit den Gemüsen

Beef jumped on plate
Rindfleisch sprang auf Teller

Rice confined
Reis beschränkte


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Marion Rooijmans
Netherlands
Local time: 17:35
English to Dutch
+ ...
Film subtitles Oct 31, 2007

Two pilots in a plane that's obviously in trouble. One shouts 'Mayday, mayday!' and this was translated into 'Meidag, meidag' (a day in May).

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:35
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
A menu that really worried me... Oct 31, 2007

The best (or worst) I've ever seen was this:

http://www.proz.com/topic/54322

But only a couple of days ago the same client expanded into the gaming business with a 'binge plate' ...

They meant a Bingo card, but you could always celebrate in the restaurant if you won a prize

Another effort was ice cream and fruit with couilles.
What the restaurant was really serving was coulis.

I'm cooking supper myself tonight, then I know what I'll get!!!


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