Off topic: Funny source texts
Thread poster: Iris Shalev

Iris Shalev  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 07:37
English to Dutch
+ ...
Apr 15, 2010

I found a very funny sentence in my source text just now, and I got a bit fed up with laughing on my own, so I decided to share it:

"Should the user have forgotten all the administrator-level passwords, please contact the local dealer or installer to recover from it."

So you see, it's not only translations that can be funny!icon_smile.gif

Anyone else has any others?


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 06:37
German to Serbian
+ ...
Sadly, yes. Apr 15, 2010

I once got a horrible non-native source text (kitchen appliance manual); here is a passage, quoting the genius author:

" - This unit does not provide for the enjoyment of people (including children), physical, sensory or mental capabilities were reduced, or people with no expertise, except when they use the apparatus under the supervision of the people responsible for their safety, in accordance the instruction on the safe use of the apparatus "

This passage meant to say, briefly:

This part of the machine must not be used/operated by children or people with mental and/or sensory disabilities or incompetent people, unless possibly under the strict supervision of a competent person ( I've decoded it, yeapeeeeeeee! )

It's a two-page text and this is just a tiny part of it. I haven't found a single healthy sentence in that text. When I communicated it to the PM, they told me not to be "rude" and not to qualify their text as "horrible"


icon_smile.gif

p.s. I would normally never display my clients' text ( or excerpt) publicly, but this was a combination of an unprofessional + nasty client, so they well deserved it.

[Edited at 2010-04-15 10:44 GMT]


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:37
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Off-topic - I see no problem here Apr 15, 2010

Lingua 5B wrote:
I once got a horrible non-native source text (kitchen appliance manual)
...(snip)
p.s. I would normally never display my clients' text ( or excerpt) publicly, but this was a combination of an unprofessional + nasty client, so they well deserved it.


If it were your client's correspondence, an agreement, internal documents etc., you really shouldn't. However it's fair to assume that anyone buying that kitchen appliance in the source-language-speaking country would see that. The same applies to web sites, advertising, etc.


 

Iris Shalev  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 07:37
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
:) Apr 15, 2010

Ah yes, the many variations of that sentence!!icon_smile.gif

I have also at times received such appalling source texts that I had to sent them back with the advice to revise (completely rewrite) their text before they send it for translation. Now that I think about it, I don't think I have ever received a source text that was 100% without mistakes (usually only small ones, but occasionally you get a truly awful product like the one you mentioned...)

But I have to say sometimes it's worth the laugh you get out of them!


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 06:37
German to Serbian
+ ...
Illustration Apr 15, 2010

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Lingua 5B wrote:
I once got a horrible non-native source text (kitchen appliance manual)
...(snip)
p.s. I would normally never display my clients' text ( or excerpt) publicly, but this was a combination of an unprofessional + nasty client, so they well deserved it.


If it were your client's correspondence, an agreement, internal documents etc., you really shouldn't. However it's fair to assume that anyone buying that kitchen appliance in the source-language-speaking country would see that. The same applies to web sites, advertising, etc.


Sometimes excerpts are necessary to prove our points. Now that I illustrated it with an excerpt, it is much more convincing, don't you think? Otherwise, it may sound like I'm just bashing a client?

I've also seen some colleagues displaying NDA excerpts publicly, to support their points. NDA would be a more sensitive content, right?


 

PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 06:37
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Oh, you can actually recover from it?!! Apr 15, 2010

Iris Shalev wrote:

"Should the user have forgotten all the administrator-level passwords, please contact the local dealer or installer to recover from it."



I never knew the local dealer or installer could help me recover from this kind of memory loss, but it's so good to know. Maybe my local dealer can help me with some more longterm memory losses as well?icon_biggrin.gif


 

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:37
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Another example Apr 15, 2010

A few days ago I was offered a job, to translate the German parts of a text that was already partly in English. The English was obviously the work of a native user of German who thought his knowledge of English was adequate for this, but it included:

Stick the rear housing flange twofold with the sealing cord

(the text was about installing a piece of industrial equipment). I didn't take the job because I could not have done it in the required time, and I told the agency the English parts are a bad translation.

Oliver


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:37
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Some from my BBC Monitoring collection Apr 15, 2010

Dating from the 80s, English-language material from foreign countries:

LATEST THING IN LETTER BOMBS?

4-50 1050 Washington: American Physicists’ Society says nuclear arms can destroy world and should not be used in letters sent to world leaders (no comment)


Comrades having a keen sense of smell immediately realised that the emergence of this tendency of extravagant eating and drinking marked a new trend in class struggle and that it was consequently necessary to heighten one’s vigilance.
This gust of evil wind was fanned up by the class enemies.

3. SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE IN KWANGTUNG ((SUMMARY)) REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEES AT ALL LEVELS IN HUACHOU COUNTY HAVE GRASPED TIGHTLY THE COLLECTION OF BARNYARD MANURE Canton, 24.2.71


 

Iris Shalev  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 07:37
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@PCovs Apr 15, 2010

PCovs wrote:

I never knew the local dealer or installer could help me recover from this kind of memory loss, but it's so good to know. Maybe my local dealer can help me with some more longterm memory losses as well?icon_biggrin.gif


Yes - that's exactly why I can't stop laughing every time I re-read the sentence! Haha... it sounds to me like they're saying: "if you lose the password, there's nothing you can do about it, but you should go and get professional help to deal with the shock of not being able to use your very expensive appliance anymore!"icon_biggrin.gif


 

Iris Shalev  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 07:37
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ Jack Apr 15, 2010

Jack Doughty wrote:

Dating from the 80s, English-language material from foreign countries:

LATEST THING IN LETTER BOMBS?

4-50 1050 Washington: American Physicists’ Society says nuclear arms can destroy world and should not be used in letters sent to world leaders (no comment)


Comrades having a keen sense of smell immediately realised that the emergence of this tendency of extravagant eating and drinking marked a new trend in class struggle and that it was consequently necessary to heighten one’s vigilance.
This gust of evil wind was fanned up by the class enemies.

3. SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE IN KWANGTUNG ((SUMMARY)) REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEES AT ALL LEVELS IN HUACHOU COUNTY HAVE GRASPED TIGHTLY THE COLLECTION OF BARNYARD MANURE Canton, 24.2.71


Haha... I don't believe it! You were actually asked to translate this?


 

Vidmantas Stilius  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:37
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
. Apr 15, 2010

"Do not tow this forklift truck with another forklift truck because it may run away." (which one?)

 

Iris Shalev  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 07:37
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
:D Apr 16, 2010

Vidmantas Stilius wrote:

"Do not tow this forklift truck with another forklift truck because it may run away." (which one?)


... and you'll never find it again!


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:37
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A dealer for all needs! Apr 16, 2010

Iris Shalev wrote:
"Should the user have forgotten all the administrator-level passwords, please contact the local dealer or installer to recover from it."

Wow. Indeed this company's dealers offer a wide range of services!icon_wink.gif Thanks for sharing.


 

Roy OConnor (X)
Local time: 06:37
German to English
Here is my two-penneth Apr 16, 2010

An advertisement seen in our local rag some years ago when the US forces had a strong presence in the Rhine-Main region:

Repairs - Your washing machine is a call-worth! Phone.....etc.


 


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