Off topic: Just had to share this ... (extra sentence inserted into target text)
Thread poster: Rowan Morrell

Rowan Morrell  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 14:52
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Jun 14, 2004

In a job I'm editing, the following German sentence:

"Lassen Sie keine Kinder mit dem Gerät, den
Zubehörteilen oder mit dem Netzkabel spielen."

was rendered into English as:

"Do not allow children to play with the unit, accessories or mains cable. Keep the little terrorists away from your workplace!"

Needless to say, I deleted the second sentence, which was not in the source text, and in any case is pretty inappropriate for an instruction manual. It cracked me up though!

Best Regards

(WriteWord Translations)

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-06-14 11:43]


avsie (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:52
English to French
+ ...
??? Jun 14, 2004

I would have probably done the same: deleting the 2nd sentence!

Rather inappropriate...!


sylvie malich
Local time: 02:52
German to English
Smirk Jun 14, 2004

A translator with a wild sense of humour who knew you were going to proofread it, perhaps?

Thanks for the laugh, Rowan!

[Edited at 2004-06-14 11:59]


Local time: 11:52
Italian to English
+ ...
and the use of Terrorist..... Jun 14, 2004

as opposed to Terrors is just precious!!!!!


Beth Kantus  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:52
German to English
similar thing happened to me Jun 14, 2004

I had an instruction manual to translate once from G->E and in a section describing various switches etc., the German text included the passage "And the Lord spoke... Let there be Light."
The client said translate it into English and leave it in there -- a refreshing change from the usual dry fare authored by engineers!icon_smile.gif


Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:52
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Here's my confessing to adding "Gummibärchen" Jun 14, 2004

A reference manual about a Japanese distributed control system, the introduction tried to list all possible applications [green glass, clear glass, brown glass, colorless glass (see -> clear glass), etc.]. I remember adding Gummibärchen somewhere in the steel section. The proof-reader (in the German branch office) caught them, but eventually decided they'd stay...


Local time: 02:52
French to English
It can be very tempting to insert "secret" messages or loaded phrases... Jun 16, 2004

... but of course as a true professional I have never done so (basically, Klaus, I lack your guts - or at any rate I'm afraid my clients would lack the required sense of humour). Rowan - thanks for posting this thread. The idea of "terrorists in the workplace" resonates for me as I work at home and have three children...
These experiences brought back memories of a teacher we had xx years ago who we were pretty sure never really read our homework essays. So one of my friends (you see? even in the third form as it was then called I already lacked the guts)inserted "and I don't know why I'm bothering to write this because you aren't going to read it" smack in the middle of a sentence in her history essay. Anyway, the exercise book came back as usual together with all the others, with a mark out of ten at the end... plus the comment, "And yes, Catherine, I do read everything you write". It didn't do our teacher's reputation any harm in the end!


Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:52
German to Italian
+ ...
What the... Jun 16, 2004

A colleague of mine, working for the same client for years and years (they're good friends by now), once wrote at the end of an extremely complicated sentence: "What the #### does this sentence mean???" I'm sure it was left on purposeicon_wink.gif I daren't do such a thing... well, not yeticon_wink.gif


Yamato (X)
Local time: 03:52
Russian to Spanish
+ ...
Ever tried to do that in the booth? Jun 20, 2004

Not so long ago I had to interpret the International Conference of Translation and interpreting in my own translation faculty, in Barcelona. You can imagine that all the interpreters were good friends, as they studied together.

So, there was this proposal that, when doing inverse interpreting (towards French or English) we would insert meaningless (in the context) words in Spanish.

Just imagine:

" ... and so the selection process was decided as *pluma* a double-blind test that would enable researchers *catalizador* to investigate... "

Of course, once we got to the real thing, the speakers were so challenging that we had our hands full just getting by with the translation!

[Edited at 2004-06-20 10:57]


Madeleine van Zanten
Local time: 02:52
French to English
+ ...
Computerheinis Jun 22, 2004

This one is from a localisation project, where the original text, written by the programmers somewhere in a list of error messages had inserted the sentence: '' Da haben die Computerheinis wohl wieder irgendeinen Mist gebastelt''. I did delete the sentence but it definitely woke me up while I was trying to finish the job long after midnight


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