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Thank goodness I'm just losing marks for my mistranslations...


We all know that mistranslations cost us the most points on our translation assignments, and can eventually cost us a job. But what about when the stakes are even higher?

This hilarious article outlines some of history's gravest mistranslations. Although written in a comical fashion, the section about pharmacies and hospitals is a bit disturbing. It is frightening to think that pharmacies rely on machine translations for prescriptions! I don't think I would want to translate or interpret in a situation when my mistake could lead to political disaster or death!

Check it out....

http://www.cracked.com/article_19120_6-mistranslations-that-changed-world.html(external link)

... what do you think?



I was actually going to post a link to "Engrish," it's one of my favourites. The worst is when people unsuspectingly sport ridiculous messages on their t-shirts. I always wonder if us westerners, wearing shirts with Japanese or Chinese characters on them, are sporting messages that would make a Japanese or Chinese-speaker fall over laughing!


The tourism industry is a major scenario for mistranslations. The good thing is that, again, there is little risk of causing someone's dead or a political disaster, unless you miss the "not" in the German translation of "Swimming is not allowed in this river" in a rainforest in northern Australia.

Go check Engrish.com (http://www.engrish.com/category/instructions/) for mistranslations in Asia and lots of funny language-related stuff.

In Europe, most of tourist information/banners/airport and hotel signs are in at least 4 languages, and sometimes they don't sound right even in the local language!


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