History BlindIdiotTranslation / RealLife

22nd Apr '17 6:35:39 AM randomguy5850
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* Asian languages like Japanese are ''notoriously'' tricky to transcribe into any Western language, due to having a very different set of phonemes; the most well known is L / R (light vs. right, free vs. flee etc.) which results in the [[JapaneseRanguage stereotypical stupid Japanese accent]], as the equivalent sound in Japanese is somewhere between both. There's numerous others, though; B / V, S / TH (probably most notable for producing [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII "Aeris"]]), SI / SHI (prompting giggles at words like "shituation" or "shitty life") and others. This is aggravated by the difference in writing systems, as most East Asian languages use either logographic or syllabic writing systems, which means that foreign words can only be transliterated phonetically (i.e. by approximating how they sound like to a native speaker). If something's a proper noun, be prepared for guesswork.
** An infamous example was after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, during the American occupation of Japan, there was an incident where an Allied official had some members of the Japanese bureaucracy fired after a Japanese translator misconstrued a martial arts club's name. The name is Budokai, intended to mean 'Martial Arts Club', but the translator mistook the kanji for 'Military Virtues Association', something that the Allied authorities would never tolerate given the demilitarization policy at that time. When the same Allied official realized the mistake and tried to keep the bureaucrats in their office, it was too late; General [=MacArthur=] insisted the association be banned and that any members in the Japanese government be fired.
** An even more infamous - and tragic - example was the final trigger for one of mankind's worst catastrophes: when asked by journalists about the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potsdam_Declaration Potsdam Declaration]], the Japanese Foreign Minister (as the proper politician he was) replied with the [[WeaselWords weasel word]] "[[http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/tech_journals/mokusatsu.pdf mokusatsu]]", which can mean both, "No comment," and "I am ignoring it in contempt." Guess which translation got back to the Americans.

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* Asian languages like Japanese are ''notoriously'' tricky to transcribe into any Western language, due to having a very different set of phonemes; the most well known is L / R (light vs. right, free vs. flee flee, etc.) which results in the [[JapaneseRanguage stereotypical stupid Japanese accent]], as the equivalent sound in Japanese is somewhere between both. There's numerous others, though; though: B / V, S / TH (probably most notable for producing [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII "Aeris"]]), SI / SHI (prompting giggles at words like "shituation" or "shitty life") and others. This is aggravated by the difference in writing systems, as most East Asian languages use either logographic or syllabic writing systems, which means that foreign words can only be transliterated phonetically (i.e. by approximating how they sound like to a native speaker). If something's a proper noun, be prepared for guesswork.
** An infamous example was after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, during the American occupation of Japan, there was an incident where an Allied official had some members of the Japanese bureaucracy fired after a Japanese translator misconstrued a martial arts club's name. The name is Budokai, intended to mean 'Martial "Martial Arts Club', Club", but the translator mistook the kanji for 'Military "Military Virtues Association', Association", something that the Allied authorities would never tolerate given the demilitarization policy at that time. When the same Allied official realized the mistake and tried to keep the bureaucrats in their office, it was too late; General [=MacArthur=] insisted the association be banned and that any members in the Japanese government be fired.
** An even more infamous - and tragic - example infamous—and tragic—example was the final trigger for one of mankind's worst catastrophes: when asked by journalists about the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potsdam_Declaration Potsdam Declaration]], the Japanese Foreign Minister (as the proper politician he was) replied with the [[WeaselWords weasel word]] "[[http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/tech_journals/mokusatsu.pdf mokusatsu]]", which can mean both, "No comment," and "I am ignoring it in contempt." Guess which translation got back to the Americans. Americans?



* Pick any online text translator. Pick a block of text - the beginning of Hamlet's most famous soliloquy, for example. Now translate it to any other language, and back again. This is sometimes known as "Babelfishing", after [=AltaVista=]'s (later Website/{{Yahoo}}'s) Babel Fish, one of the first online translators (it now exists without the name as Bing Translator).

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* Pick any online text translator. Pick a block of text - the text—the beginning of Hamlet's most famous soliloquy, for example. Now translate it to any other language, and back again. This is sometimes known as "Babelfishing", after [=AltaVista=]'s (later Website/{{Yahoo}}'s) Babel Fish, one of the first online translators (it now exists without the name as Bing Translator).



*** In some conlanging communities(people who create languages), there is something called a conlang relay. A message in English is translated to another conlang, which itself is translated into another conlang and so on. It is actually pretty funny.

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*** ** In some conlanging communities(people who create languages), there is something called a conlang relay. A message in English is translated to another conlang, which itself is translated into another conlang and so on. It is actually pretty funny.



* During the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union the leader at the time, Nikita Khrushchev, addressed western ambassadors at the Polish embassy in Moscow. During the reception he apparently said "Мы вас похороним!" (''My vas pokhoronim!''), meaning "We will bury you!", and many people took it as a threat. However this is a case of quote mining, the actual sentence was this, "Нравится вам или нет, но история на нашей стороне. Мы вас закопаем", (''Nravitsya vam ili nyet, na istoriya na nashey stropone. My vas zakopayem.''), in English "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will dig you in." Basically he wasn't saying that the Soviet Union would destroy the U.S, rather it would outlast it, that the U.S would collapse upon itself and the USSR would still be around when the USA was dead and buried. Ironically this did happen except it was the Soviet Union doing the collapsing while the U.S was doing the burying. Khrushchev jwas likely paraphrasing Marx's thesis that bourgeoisie will make proletariat its own grave-digger.

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* During the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union the leader at the time, Nikita Khrushchev, addressed western ambassadors at the Polish embassy in Moscow. During the reception he apparently said "Мы вас похороним!" (''My vas pokhoronim!''), meaning "We will bury you!", and many people took it as a threat. However However, this is a case of quote mining, the mining. The actual sentence was this, "Нравится вам или нет, но история на нашей стороне. Мы вас закопаем", (''Nravitsya vam ili nyet, na istoriya na nashey stropone. My vas zakopayem.''), in English "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will dig you in." Basically Basically, he wasn't saying that the Soviet Union would destroy the U.S, rather it would outlast it, that it—that the U.S S. would collapse upon itself and the USSR would still be around when the USA U.S. was dead and buried. Ironically Ironically, this did happen happen, except it was the Soviet Union doing the collapsing while the U.S was doing the burying. Khrushchev jwas likely paraphrasing Marx's thesis that bourgeoisie will make proletariat its own grave-digger.



* According to [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7899171.stm this story,]] many Irish police stopping Polish motorists for driving infractions were reading ''the wrong part of the driving licence'' when taking their details. This came to light when it emerged that [[http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prawo_jazdy Prawo Jazdy]] (Polish for "driver's license") was the most wanted driver in Ireland.

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* According to [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7899171.stm this story,]] many Irish police stopping Polish motorists for driving infractions were reading ''the wrong part of the driving licence'' driver's license'' when taking their details. This came to light when it emerged that [[http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prawo_jazdy Prawo Jazdy]] (Polish for "driver's license") was the most wanted driver in Ireland.



* When Bic went to Latin America, it thought that the word "embarazar" meant "to embarass." So, the billboards told you that "this pen won't leak in your pocket and get you pregnant."

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* When Bic went to Latin America, it thought that the word "embarazar" meant "to embarass.embarrass." So, the billboards told you that "this pen won't leak in your pocket and get you pregnant."



*** The Chinese word 'gan' (干) has two common meanings - 'dry', and 'do'. It's a euphemism for 'fuck' through the latter meaning, in the same way English speakers euphemise 'fuck' with 'do'.

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*** The Chinese word 'gan' "gan" (干) has two common meanings - 'dry', meanings—"dry", and 'do'. "do". It's a euphemism for 'fuck' "fuck" through the latter meaning, in the same way English speakers euphemise 'fuck' euphemize "fuck" with 'do'."do".



* A negligent translation to Russian and back allowed Margaret Thatcher's nickname to shift from 'Iron Maiden' (as in 'torture-box') to 'Iron Dame' to 'IronLady'. An improvement, no?

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* A negligent translation to Russian and back allowed Margaret Thatcher's nickname to shift from 'Iron Maiden' "Iron Maiden" (as in 'torture-box') "torture-box") to 'Iron Dame' "Iron Dame" to 'IronLady'."IronLady". An improvement, no?



** As pictured on the main page, we've got a fire extinguisher that was labelled as "hand grenade" which is clearly wrong. What's interesting is that fire extinguishers ''[[AccidentallyAccurate can actually function]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W02KQMRA6gA as a hand grenade]]'' (though they won't create a fire explosion a real grenade would and will put out fire instead).

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** As pictured on the main page, we've got we have a fire extinguisher that was labelled labeled as "hand grenade" which is clearly wrong. What's interesting is that fire extinguishers ''[[AccidentallyAccurate can actually function]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W02KQMRA6gA as a hand grenade]]'' (though they won't create a fire explosion a real grenade would and will put out fire instead).



* Another example involved UsefulNotes/TonyBlair giving a speech in French about the "third way" falling foul of the fact that the literal French translation of "third way" (''troisième voie'') is more often used in conversational French to refer to Platform Three at a railway station.

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* Another example involved UsefulNotes/TonyBlair giving a speech in French about the "third way" falling foul of the fact that the literal French translation of "third way" (''troisième voie'') is more often used in conversational French to refer to Platform Three 3 at a railway station.



* In a translation of a hymn about John the Revelator, who wrote the Book of The Seven Seals, 'seal' was translated using the 'aquatic pinniped mammal' meaning.

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* In a translation of a hymn about John the Revelator, who wrote the Book of The Seven Seals, 'seal' "seal" was translated using the 'aquatic "aquatic pinniped mammal' mammal" meaning.



* Polish translators in general seem to be baffled by slang, for example translating the word "[[TotallyRadical radical]]" as "radykalny" which is not and has never been a slang word (it actually means "extreme" -- "radical" has a much wider semantic field than "radykalny"). This makes the translated dialogue sound [[SophisticatedAsHell oddly disjointed]] or plain incomprehensible.

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* Polish translators in general seem to be baffled by slang, for example translating the word "[[TotallyRadical radical]]" as "radykalny" which is not and has never been a slang word (it actually means "extreme" -- "radical" "extreme"—"radical" has a much wider semantic field than "radykalny"). This makes the translated dialogue sound [[SophisticatedAsHell oddly disjointed]] or plain incomprehensible.



** A temporary sign for pedestrians in Cardiff reading 'Look Right' in English read 'Look Left' in Welsh.

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** A temporary sign for pedestrians in Cardiff reading 'Look Right' "Look Right" in English read 'Look Left' "Look Left" in Welsh.



* The phenomenon was referred to by Creator/StephenFry in an article when he was discussing why he never did any classical roles. He commented that he didn't 'have the sort of calves that could carry off a pair of tights' which he thought could be translated as 'possess the type of young cows that could transport away two drunks".

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* The phenomenon was referred to by Creator/StephenFry in an article when he was discussing why he never did any classical roles. He commented that he didn't 'have "have the sort of calves that could carry off a pair of tights' tights" which he thought could be translated as 'possess "possess the type of young cows that could transport away two drunks".



* The Brazilian Portuguese translation of Windows Vista had 'Sobre o Janelas', which means... 'About [the] Windows'. Sadly, [[GoodBadTranslation it]] was fixed.
** With the release of a system update to the Xbox 360 (2.0.16197.0, 26 Oct '12), Swedish was added as a system language. But there was a lot of simple translation errors despite the Windows OS having an almost perfect translation. (Hard Drive) "Storage" was translated to the word for "the shop's storage for goods", confusing the word for TV remote and gamepad (remote), car's transmission (game defaults) was translated to "transmitting" (correct, but confusing). And some "enable"/"disable" is switched which makes it hard to know the setting unless one is using another language. These errors haven't been fixed yet.

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* The Brazilian Portuguese translation of Windows Vista had 'Sobre "Sobre o Janelas', Janelas", which means... 'About "About [the] Windows'.Windows". Sadly, [[GoodBadTranslation it]] was fixed.
** With the release of a system update to the Xbox 360 (2.0.16197.0, 26 Oct '12), 26-Oct-2012), Swedish was added as a system language. But there was a lot of simple translation errors despite the Windows OS having an almost perfect translation. (Hard Drive) "Storage" was translated to the word for "the shop's storage for goods", confusing the word for TV remote and gamepad (remote), car's transmission (game defaults) was translated to "transmitting" (correct, but confusing). And some "enable"/"disable" is switched which makes it hard to know the setting unless one is using another language. These errors haven't been fixed yet.



* Students of the Latin Language, once they have gotten to the point where they can begin to piece together reasonably correct sentences, graduate from TranslationTrainWreck to this normally partway through their second year. With improper and incomplete knowledge of grammatical structures, the results are often more or less fine in English, but rather atrocious in Latin. For example, the sentence: Since I feel that I am not afraid of the kind of man who would pet a kitten, is correctly written as Cum sentio ut vereor homi qui palparet cattulam. Without knowledge of subjunctive, cum clauses, and characteristic clauses, such a student would write: Quoniam non timeor gentis viri quem sit tactet felecem. Unfortunately, this means: "Since (as in time) not afraid I am of the race of man whom he would be touches cat."

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* Students of the Latin Language, once they have gotten to the point where they can begin to piece together reasonably correct sentences, graduate from TranslationTrainWreck to this normally partway through their second year. With improper and incomplete knowledge of grammatical structures, the results are often more or less fine in English, but rather atrocious in Latin. For example, the sentence: Since sentence "Since I feel that I am not afraid of the kind of man who would pet a kitten, kitten," is correctly written as Cum "Cum sentio ut vereor homi qui palparet cattulam. cattulam." Without knowledge of subjunctive, cum clauses, and characteristic clauses, such a student would write: Quoniam write "Quoniam non timeor gentis viri quem sit tactet felecem. felecem." Unfortunately, this means: means "Since (as in time) not afraid I am of the race of man whom he would be touches cat."



** Hillary Clinton ''meant'' to write the word "Reset" on a big button. The button would be pressed, and the Russian-American relations would be symbolically reset to a clean slate. In Russian the word would be "Perezagruzka". Alas, the actual word written was "Peregruzka" - "Overload". Russian official Lavrov immediately parried with a false translation of his own: he (mistakenly) explained that "Peregruzka" means "Overcharged".
*** "Overcharged" ''can'' mean the same thing as "Overload" in English, it just isn't the dominant meaning.
* Similarly, a hapless French MP attempting to welcome Quebec Premier Jean Charest to Paris "in Québécois" and hope he wasn't too tired after his trip unwittingly used an obscure and extremely vulgar idiom that basically translates as "I hope your [[CountryMatters cunt]] isn't dragging."
** This one may be an example of SeparatedByACommonLanguage (for those not in the know, most people in Quebec speak French).

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** Hillary Clinton ''meant'' to write the word "Reset" "reset" on a big button. The button would be pressed, and the Russian-American relations would be symbolically reset to a clean slate. In Russian the word would be "Perezagruzka". "perezagruzka". Alas, the actual word written was "Peregruzka" - "Overload". "peregruzka"—"overload". Russian official Lavrov immediately parried with a false translation of his own: he (mistakenly) explained that "Peregruzka" "peregruzka" means "Overcharged".
"overcharged".
*** "Overcharged" ''can'' mean the same thing as "Overload" "overload" in English, it just isn't the dominant meaning.
* Similarly, a hapless French MP attempting to welcome Quebec Québec Premier Jean Charest to Paris "in Québécois" and hope he wasn't too tired after his trip unwittingly used an obscure and extremely vulgar idiom that basically translates as "I hope your [[CountryMatters cunt]] isn't dragging."
** This one may be an example of SeparatedByACommonLanguage (for those not in the know, most people in Quebec Québec speak French).



* The Spanish version of this wiki suffers from this. "Disonancia del Angustia" for AngstDissonance (in Spanish all nouns are gendered, "del" is a male pronoun and "Angustia" a female one, thus the right LITERAL translation should be "Disonancia de la angustia"). La Decadencia Del Chingón for BadassDecay (means "The Badass Decadence", since "Chingón" is an aproximation for "Badass", but this is Mexican slang and not appropiate for that use everywhere).

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* The Spanish version of this wiki suffers from this. "Disonancia del Angustia" for AngstDissonance (in Spanish all nouns are gendered, "del" is a male pronoun and "Angustia" a female one, thus the right LITERAL ''literal'' translation should be "Disonancia de la angustia"). La Decadencia Del Chingón for BadassDecay (means "The Badass Decadence", since "Chingón" is an aproximation for "Badass", but this is Mexican slang and not appropiate appropriate for that use everywhere).



** Also in 2004, two Brazilian surfers were arrested at the Miami airport for not knowing proper English: when asked what the large metallic object in their luggage was, they wanted to reply that it was a compressor - an air pump (bomba de ar)... Yes, what they actually ended up saying is that it was an air bomb. Cue the book being thrown, they being charged with everything from terrorism to making false bomb reports, Brazil being added to the list of terrorist countries, and the guys staying in jail for over two months until the Brazilian government managed to bring them back home.

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** Also in 2004, two Brazilian surfers were arrested at the Miami airport for not knowing proper English: when asked what the large metallic object in their luggage was, they wanted to reply that it was a compressor - an compressor—an air pump (bomba de ar)... Yes, what they actually ended up saying is that it was an air bomb. Cue the book being thrown, they being charged with everything from terrorism to making false bomb reports, Brazil being added to the list of terrorist countries, and the guys staying in jail for over two months until the Brazilian government managed to bring them back home.



* A Radio/PaulHarvey story recounts the experience by two Americans visiting Poland. Before leaving the hotel to explore the city, they were smart enough to write down the words on the sign in front of the hotel in case they got lost and needed to ask for directions. After wandering around the city for a while, they got lost. To get some help, they stopped random people on the streets and showed them the writing. No one was able to help them until they found someone who spoke English. They showed the paper to the English-speaking person who read it, then said, "Lots of hotels say 'no vacancy' on their signs."
* A dark brown sofa set manufactured in China bore a label describing its color as "Nigger-brown". The problem was due to outdated translation software that displayed the phrase when "dark brown" was typed in. [[http://www.snopes.com/racial/business/sofa.asp]]

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* A Radio/PaulHarvey story recounts the experience by two Americans visiting Poland. Before leaving the hotel to explore the city, they were smart enough to write down the words on the sign in front of the hotel in case they got lost and needed to ask for directions. After wandering around the city for a while, they got lost. To get some help, they stopped random people on the streets and showed them the writing. No one was able to help them until they found someone who spoke English. They showed the paper to the English-speaking person who read it, then said, "Lots of hotels say 'no vacancy' "no vacancy" on their signs."
* A dark brown sofa set manufactured in China bore a label describing its color as "Nigger-brown"."nigger-brown". The problem was due to outdated translation software that displayed the phrase when "dark brown" was typed in. [[http://www.snopes.com/racial/business/sofa.asp]]



** Can? No it will be messed up every time.

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** Can? No No, it will be messed up every time.



*** Johan Cruyff did this too when translating the phrase "Op een gegeven moment" (At a certain moment, literally: At a given moment) to Spanish. He then introduced 'en un momento dado' to the Spanish.

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*** Johan Cruyff did this too when translating the phrase "Op een gegeven moment" (At a certain moment, literally: At a given moment) to Spanish. He then introduced 'en "en un momento dado' dado" to the Spanish.



** Thing is? That's the REAL words in Italian. What's missing is the TONE (jocular and sardonic, so nobody would actually do what is stated).

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** Thing is? That's Those are the REAL ''real'' words in Italian. What's missing is the TONE ''tone'' (jocular and sardonic, so nobody would actually do what is stated).



* Icelandic is particularly prone to literal translation problems, combining a high tolerance for crudeness with an unusual affinity for creating new words out of existing ones (even technical terms - in almost all languages, for example, photon sounds like "photon", autism sounds like "autism", hippocampus sounds like "hippocampus", etc - but in Icelandic, they're ljóseind, einhverfa, and dreki, respectively). So it shouldn't be surprising that often you end up with words like smokkfiskur (squid), which literally means "condomfish", or rúðupiss (windshield wiper fluid), which literally means window-piss. But Icelandic is also rich in [[http://miss-24.blogcentral.is/blog/14838711/ expressions that sound really weird when someone translates them literally]] dating back to ancient times - to pick a few: "Hann stóð á öndinni" (he was too excited to speak), literally "he stood on the duck"; "áfram með smjörið" (go for it, keep going!), literally "forward with the butter"; and "ég borga bara með reiðufé" (I only pay cash), literally "I pay only with an angry sheep."

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* Icelandic is particularly prone to literal translation problems, combining a high tolerance for crudeness with an unusual affinity for creating new words out of existing ones (even technical terms - in terms—in almost all languages, for example, photon sounds like "photon", autism sounds like "autism", hippocampus sounds like "hippocampus", etc - but etc.—but in Icelandic, they're ljóseind, einhverfa, and dreki, respectively). So it shouldn't be surprising that often you end up with words like smokkfiskur (squid), which literally means "condomfish", or rúðupiss (windshield wiper fluid), which literally means window-piss. But Icelandic is also rich in [[http://miss-24.blogcentral.is/blog/14838711/ expressions that sound really weird when someone translates them literally]] dating back to ancient times - to times—to pick a few: "Hann stóð á öndinni" (he was too excited to speak), literally "he stood on the duck"; "áfram með smjörið" (go for it, keep going!), literally "forward with the butter"; butter!"; and "ég borga bara með reiðufé" (I only pay cash), literally "I pay only with an angry sheep."



* Some signs in countries directly bordering Serbia (Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Croatia, and Bosnia) try to have a native language plus Serbian underneath. The results range from perfectly comprehensible[[note]]particularly common for Croatia, Bosnia, and Macedonia; all were part of Yugoslavia, and Croatian and Bosnian are so close as to be nigh-indistinguishable from Serbian.[[/note]] to this trope to TranslationTrainwreck. One sign on the Hungarian-Serbian border tried to warn people of falling rocks. They chose the word 'ledeno' for this, which can mean rock, ice, snow... or ''bribe money'', to most Serbians under the age of thirty. It immediately became a meme for Serbian speakers.

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* Some signs in countries directly bordering Serbia (Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Croatia, and Bosnia) try to have a native language plus Serbian underneath. The results range from perfectly comprehensible[[note]]particularly common for Croatia, Bosnia, and Macedonia; all were part of Yugoslavia, and Croatian and Bosnian are so close as to be nigh-indistinguishable from Serbian.[[/note]] to this trope to TranslationTrainwreck. One sign on the Hungarian-Serbian border tried to warn people of falling rocks. They chose the word 'ledeno' "ledeno" for this, which can mean rock, ice, snow... or ''bribe money'', to most Serbians under the age of thirty.30. It immediately became a meme for Serbian speakers.



* One of the very few points of contact between Communist Romania and Western Europe in Cold War days was rugby union football. Tours by world-class countries and teams were eagerly anticipated and warmly welcomed. The then President of the English R.F.U. accompanied a goodwill visit by England's national side. At the after-match official reception - attended by Nicolai Ceauceșcu himself - the President had to give a speech. Wanting to please his hosts and open with a Romanian phrase, he memorised the words written on the outside of the toilet doors, reasoning that they meant "Ladies" and "Gentlemen". His speech got a huge laugh and roars of approval. Gratified, the visiting English dignitary was pleased his jokes had gone down so well. And then an aide to Ceauceșcu politely said that the Exalted Comrade had been most amused at the speech. But, President Ceauceșcu wishes to know. Why did you begin with ''Urinals And Water-Closets''?

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* One of the very few points of contact between Communist Romania and Western Europe in the Cold War days was rugby union football. Tours by world-class countries and teams were eagerly anticipated and warmly welcomed. The then President of the English R.F.U. accompanied a goodwill visit by England's national side. At the after-match official reception - attended reception—attended by Nicolai Ceauceșcu himself - the himself—the President had to give a speech. Wanting to please his hosts and open with a Romanian phrase, he memorised the words written on the outside of the toilet doors, reasoning that they meant "Ladies" and "Gentlemen". His speech got a huge laugh and roars of approval. Gratified, the visiting English dignitary was pleased his jokes had gone down so well. And then an aide to Ceauceșcu politely said that the Exalted Comrade had been most amused at the speech. But, President Ceauceșcu wishes to know. Why did you begin with ''Urinals And Water-Closets''?



:::Under Irish law, if there's any difference in meaning the Irish version takes precedence. The discrepancy was noticed and the Irish translation is being amended, but had the referendum been passed with the original version, the legalising of gay marriage might accidentally and technically have made ''heterosexual'' marriage unconstitutional!

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:::Under Irish law, if there's any difference in meaning the Irish version takes precedence. The discrepancy was noticed and the Irish translation is being amended, but had the referendum been passed with the original version, the legalising legalizing of gay marriage might accidentally and technically have made ''heterosexual'' marriage unconstitutional!



* Many bilingual signs at some places in the United States suffer from this. The very common phrase "No trespassing, violators will be prosecuted" is literally translated into Spanish as "No Traspasar, violadores serán castigados por la ley". This particular translation ''actually'' means "No exchanging, rapists will be punished by law". The word they're actually looking for is ''transgresores''.[[note]]''Violador(es)'' literally means "violators", but its default meaning when no context is provided to the word is "rapist(s)", as in Spanish, the word for "rape" is the same word for "violation" (violación).[[/note]]

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* Many bilingual signs at some places in the United States suffer from this. The very common phrase "No trespassing, violators will be prosecuted" is literally translated into Spanish as "No Traspasar, traspasar, violadores serán castigados por la ley". This particular translation ''actually'' means "No exchanging, rapists will be punished by law". The word they're actually looking for is ''transgresores''.[[note]]''Violador(es)'' literally means "violators", but its default meaning when no context is provided to the word is "rapist(s)", as in Spanish, the word for "rape" is the same word for "violation" (violación).[[/note]]



* Gigabyte Technology software has been known to throw the error message "This Driver can't release to failure!!", which is about as coherent as it is informative.

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* Gigabyte Technology software has been known to throw up the error message "This Driver can't release to failure!!", which is about as coherent as it is informative.
12th Apr '17 3:00:47 PM chicagomel
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Added DiffLines:

* A story is told in the book ''Moon Shot'' of a visit to Russia by American astronauts. Someone said the phrase "I'm tickled to death to be here" and the Russian translator struggled for a second before coming up with "scratch me 'til I die".
28th Mar '17 12:14:23 PM Vedenhenki
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Added DiffLines:

*** Goolge translates "Liitoshitsaaja", which is "Joint welder", to "Flying shit recipient". This is technically correct, as the word "liitoshitsaaja" could be either liito(glide)-shit-saaja(recipient) or liitos(joint)-hitsaaja(welder), but I dare to say welders are talked about more often.
25th Mar '17 12:46:28 PM Theatre_Maven_3695
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* Quite a few foreign journalists had a bit of a chuckle upon learning that the official English name of a Polish splinter political party Polska Jest Najważniejsza (lit. "Poland Is the Most Important") would be "Poland Comes First" with all the unnecessary associations.
25th Mar '17 12:43:06 PM Theatre_Maven_3695
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* "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") was a catchphrase that was made popular after the islamist attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine headquarters in 2016. Shortly afterwards, alternatives to it started abounding, mostly from people not agreeing with the magazine's policy. "Je non suis Charlie", alas, is just as correct French as "I no am Charlie" is correct English.
12th Mar '17 9:51:39 PM Jaro7788
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Added DiffLines:

* "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") was a catchphrase that was made popular after the islamist attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine headquarters in 2016. Shortly afterwards, alternatives to it started abounding, mostly from people not agreeing with the magazine's policy. "Je non suis Charlie", alas, is just as correct French as "I no am Charlie" is correct English.
* Quite a few foreign journalists had a bit of a chuckle upon learning that the official English name of a Polish splinter political party Polska Jest Najważniejsza (lit. "Poland Is the Most Important") would be "Poland Comes First" with all the unnecessary associations.
10th Mar '17 2:36:06 AM Jaro7788
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* One of the more well-known and supposedly polite phrases in the English language, ''If you please'', is a classic example of the trope, being a Blind Idiot Translation from the French ''S’il vous plaît'', meaning ''If it pleases you''. According to [[http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/93382/sil-vous-pla%C3%AEt-if-you-please this site]] it was to be found in written English as early as the 16th century. The confusion arises from the fact that the French word order puts the possessive pronoun in front of the verb rather than behind it, e.g. a literal French translation of ''I love you'' (''Je t'aime'') would be ''I you love'' and ''I haven't done it'' (''Je ne l'ai pas fait'') would be ''I not it have done''.

to:

* One of the more well-known and supposedly polite phrases in the English language, ''If you please'', is a classic example of the trope, being a Blind Idiot Translation from the French ''S’il vous plaît'', meaning ''If it pleases you''. According to [[http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/93382/sil-vous-pla%C3%AEt-if-you-please this site]] it was to be found in written English as early as the 16th century. The confusion arises from the fact that the French word order puts the possessive object pronoun in front of the verb rather than behind it, e.g. a literal French translation of ''I love you'' (''Je t'aime'') would be ''I you love'' and ''I haven't done it'' (''Je ne l'ai pas fait'') would be ''I not it have (not) done''.
26th Feb '17 3:06:57 AM swordfish
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** English -> French -> English

to:

** English -> French -> English



** English -> Japanese -> English

to:

** English -> Japanese -> English



** English -> Spanish -> English

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** English -> Spanish -> English



* Former Dutch prime minister Joop den Uyl once famously said "we are a country of undertakers." What he meant was "we are a country of entrepreneurs," as the Dutch word for entrepreneur is "ondernemer", with "onder"->"under" and "nemer"->"taker".

to:

* Former Dutch prime minister Joop den Uyl once famously said "we are a country of undertakers." What he meant was "we are a country of entrepreneurs," as the Dutch word for entrepreneur is "ondernemer", with "onder"->"under" "onder"→"under" and "nemer"->"taker"."nemer"→"taker".
11th Feb '17 7:00:28 AM Morgenthaler
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* A PaulHarvey story recounts the experience by two Americans visiting Poland. Before leaving the hotel to explore the city, they were smart enough to write down the words on the sign in front of the hotel in case they got lost and needed to ask for directions. After wandering around the city for a while, they got lost. To get some help, they stopped random people on the streets and showed them the writing. No one was able to help them until they found someone who spoke English. They showed the paper to the English-speaking person who read it, then said, "Lots of hotels say 'no vacancy' on their signs."

to:

* A PaulHarvey Radio/PaulHarvey story recounts the experience by two Americans visiting Poland. Before leaving the hotel to explore the city, they were smart enough to write down the words on the sign in front of the hotel in case they got lost and needed to ask for directions. After wandering around the city for a while, they got lost. To get some help, they stopped random people on the streets and showed them the writing. No one was able to help them until they found someone who spoke English. They showed the paper to the English-speaking person who read it, then said, "Lots of hotels say 'no vacancy' on their signs."
23rd Dec '16 6:18:14 AM Kitsune1
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* Asian languages like Japanese are ''notoriously'' tricky to transcribe into any Western language, due to having a very different set of phonemes; the most well known is L / R (light vs. right, free vs. flee etc.) which results in the [[JapaneseRanguage stereotypical stupid Japanese accent]], as the equivalent sound in Japanese is somewhere between both. There's numerous others, though; B / V, S / TH (probably most notable for producing [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII "Aeris"]]), SI / SHI (prompting giggles at words like "shituation" or "shitty life") and others. This is aggravated by the difference in writing systems, as most East Asian languages use either logographic or syllabic writing systems, which means that foreign words can only be transliterated phonetically (i.e. by approximating how they sound like to a native speaker). If something's a proper noun, be prepared for guesswork.

to:

* Asian languages like Japanese are ''notoriously'' tricky to transcribe into any Western language, due to having a very different set of phonemes; the most well known is L / R (light vs. right, free vs. flee etc.) which results in the [[JapaneseRanguage stereotypical stupid Japanese accent]], as the equivalent sound in Japanese is somewhere between both. There's numerous others, though; B / V, S / TH (probably most notable for producing [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII "Aeris"]]), SI / SHI (prompting giggles at words like "shituation" or "shitty "shitty life") and others. This is aggravated by the difference in writing systems, as most East Asian languages use either logographic or syllabic writing systems, which means that foreign words can only be transliterated phonetically (i.e. by approximating how they sound like to a native speaker). If something's a proper noun, be prepared for guesswork.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=BlindIdiotTranslation.RealLife