Off topic: “Wear the one gives to the ankle to the height of pants.”
Thread poster: Russell Jones

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:18
Italian to English
Oct 17, 2009

Since it's the weekend ....

An amusing article about translation from The Times today:

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article6878640.ece


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 20:18
English to Croatian
+ ...
He he Oct 17, 2009

Thanks for the article, it's funny and sad at the same time.

Some time ago, I entered one of the well-known and famous clothing brand shops in which I saw this T-shirt with a print that said something very odd in English which had evidently resulted from amateur translation, the translator having made a typical non-native and amateur mistake which twisted the meaning altogether and created something funny. Unfortunately, I can't remember the exact phrase, I just know it's been funny and twisted. So I ask the shop lady " are you aware of what this actually means?".. she just stared at me as she had obviously been totally clueless.. Just think of the number of these T shirts that had actually been printed/produced and released to public sales? It's unbelievable. I should have taken a shot with my mobile phone camera though...I remember it was a pun involving boobs printed over the chest area with the meaning twisted into a supreme oddity. Maybe it's also important to point out that the T shirt wasn't cheap because it's a famous brand name. Who wants to pay a lot of money to be labeled with oddities over their chest?

It's also interesting to keep seeing the big companies with big names and even bigger budgets using amateur or machine translation.

[Edited at 2009-10-17 16:04 GMT]


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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:18
Italian to English
+ ...
Supermarkets Oct 17, 2009

It's also interesting to keep seeing the big companies with big names and even bigger budgets using amateur or machine translation.
LinguaB

I have battled with one of the major supermarkets about their signage - occasionally I win one but never the war................

So far:

their range of antipasties - so wrong on so many levels. I asked them if they were the anti-Christ of pasties; got that changed

passatta - on their website; e-mailed them, thanked politely; not changed

They couldn't tell the difference between Stationery and Stationary; after about five complaints they just took the sign down and didn't replace it - anyone looking for an envelope? Website wrong too.

And then - panini's - how many plurals do you need!

Have a good evening
Suzi


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Caryl Swift  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 20:18
Polish to English
+ ...
A fuller version of the article first appeared on Friday... Oct 17, 2009

...http://tinyurl.com/yj22cem

I submitted a comment, as follows:

@ Jute Jones
Your point is a very fair one. However, it is, perhaps, not the main one. The fact is that inappropriate, poor and downright shoddy translation is rife, and will continue to be so, until companies realise that translation is a highly skilled profession and that selecting their translation service providers on the basis of 'Cheapest is best' is never going to be a guarantee of anything except future embarrassment, at best. At least this time, no one's life was endangered.
What's more, it's not a job that can be done by machines, no matter how attractive the idea may be of 'getting it done for free on the XXX site'. As long as companies continue to delude themselves that, in paying peanuts, they are getting highly superior primates, errors like this, and errors with the potential for doing far more serious damage - and not only to the company's image either - will continue to proliferate.


I received a notification that the comment was awaiting moderator approval. That was on Friday evening. Perhaps it's just this computer, but I still don't see it there...

How joyous a thing to be thus censored. Well, I suppose I can comfort myself with the thought that at least I tried...

Have a good weekend, everyone!
Caryl

Edited to add a new link, because I think that possibly the 'tinyurl' didn't work
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article6877607.ece

[Edited at 2009-10-17 21:11 GMT]


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~Ania~  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:18
Polish to English
+ ...
Talking of t-shirts... Oct 18, 2009

I remember seeing young males proudly strolling round one of Poland's more popular seaside resorts last summer wearing t-shirts with the word "Tool" written on them in very big block capital letters. I wonder if they knew what it meant...

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Marion Rooijmans
Netherlands
Local time: 20:18
English to Dutch
+ ...
It's a band Oct 19, 2009

~Ania~ wrote:

I remember seeing young males proudly strolling round one of Poland's more popular seaside resorts last summer wearing t-shirts with the word "Tool" written on them in very big block capital letters. I wonder if they knew what it meant...


I have one of those t-shirts. 'Tool' is a band, and a good one too.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCEeAn6_QJo
or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFyHQWTQNuM


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marie-christine périé  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:18
English to French
+ ...
What a shame none of the persons who commented seemed to get the point! Oct 19, 2009

The mistakes are sort of funny, but I feel frustrated all the comments (on the article in Caryl's link) are about bankers' dress code, when the main point of the article is translation. Nobody seems to get this, or even be interested in the least...

And there we are, trying to "educate clients". Is it indeed a lost cause? Caryl, I do hope your relevant and insightful comment gets published, and have no idea why it should be censured.

Have a nice Monday anyway,

Marie-Christine

[Edited at 2009-10-19 07:58 GMT]


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J.Muldoon
Germany
Local time: 20:18
German to English
:) Oct 19, 2009

Nice article, thanks
Its funny exactly because someone has noticed it and commented on it (and hopefully embarrased the persons responsible). Poor translations which everyone seems to ignore, like the dreadful signs I've seen on trains and stations etc. are just infuriating because they demonstrate how little customers care about their translations.
Even after nearly a decade, (and being flogged to death) "All your base are belong to us" can still make me smile, probably for exactly this reason.


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