History BlindIdiotTranslation / RealLife

17th Jan '18 12:26:14 PM Rakt
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* It often doesn't get Russian too well either. For example, it mixes up krasibo (beautiful) and krasnyi (red) very frequently. The result is electrician's manuals telling you to use the resistor with a beautiful-great-beautiful markings.

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* It often doesn't get Russian too well either. For example, it mixes up krasibo krasivyi (beautiful) and krasnyi (red) very frequently. The result is electrician's manuals telling you to use the resistor with a beautiful-great-beautiful markings.
9th Jan '18 7:53:58 PM ambessalion
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** 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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** 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."[[https://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/tech_journals/mokusatsu.gov/news-features/declassified-documents/tech-journals/assets/files/mokusatsu.pdf mokusatsu]]", which can mean both, "No comment," and "I am ignoring it in contempt." Guess which translation got back to the Americans?
4th Dec '17 12:50:18 PM SSJKamui
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** similarily, in german, "where" translates to "wo" and "who" translates to "were". This often results in tourists asking "who is the toilet?"

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** similarily, in german, "where" translates to "wo" and "who" translates to "were"."wer". This often results in tourists asking "who is the toilet?"
4th Dec '17 12:49:26 PM SSJKamui
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Added DiffLines:

**similarily, in german, "where" translates to "wo" and "who" translates to "were". This often results in tourists asking "who is the toilet?"
12th Nov '17 8:25:04 AM val
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Added DiffLines:

* A mistake many Germans make when speaking English, even those who otherwise know the language well: "should not" is correctly translated as "soll nicht", but "must not" is incorrectly translated to "muss nicht". Despite "must" in English and "muss" in German mena the same, the negative in English is a prohibition, while in German it means something like "not necessary". For example, a native German teacher teaching a class in English, and assigning optional homework: "You should do it, but you must not do it!".
3rd Nov '17 10:08:47 PM ImperialMajestyXO
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* In another recent Russian-English misinterpretation, Vladimir Putin described Donald Trump in an interview with a Russian word that translates into English as "brilliant", and the original English newspaper stories reported it as though he'd stated Trump was very smart, which was subsequently referenced by Trump in his election campaign. It was eventually corrected (and Putin clarified in later interviews) that the word properly translates into the English as "brilliant" as in "shiny", not "brilliant" as in "very smart". A more proper English interpretation of the word he used in context is that Trump was "colorful".

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* In another recent Russian-English misinterpretation, Vladimir Putin UsefulNotes/VladimirPutin described Donald Trump in an interview with a Russian word that translates into English as "brilliant", and the original English newspaper stories reported it as though he'd stated Trump was very smart, which was subsequently referenced by Trump in his election campaign. It was eventually corrected (and Putin clarified in later interviews) that the word properly translates into the English as "brilliant" as in "shiny", not "brilliant" as in "very smart". A more proper English interpretation of the word he used in context is that Trump was "colorful".
24th Oct '17 11:37:12 PM Melkior
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Added DiffLines:

** There is an UrbanLegend about the earliest attempts to use computers to translate between Russian and English. Supposedly, the program was tested by the same method as above; translating English to Russian and then the resulting Russian back into English. The story goes that the phrase "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" came back as "the wine is acceptable but the meat has spoiled."
20th Oct '17 11:24:32 AM Luigifan
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** There are actually translators that do this ''deliberately'' like [[http://ackuna.com/badtranslator Bad Translator]][[note]]Now requires an account, unfortunately.[[/note]] . As in, that's the sole reason for their existence. Same with [[http://www.translationparty.com/ Translation Party]].

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** There are actually translators that do this ''deliberately'' like [[http://ackuna.com/badtranslator Bad Translator]][[note]]Now Translator]][[note]]which, unfortunately, now requires an account, unfortunately.[[/note]] .account[[/note]]. As in, that's the sole reason for their existence. Same with [[http://www.translationparty.com/ Translation Party]].



* 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 U.S. 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, this is a case of [[QuoteMine quote mining. mining]]. The actual sentence was this, 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 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 but that it would outlast it—that it — that the U.S. would collapse upon itself and the USSR would still be around when the U.S. 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 was likely paraphrasing Marx's thesis that bourgeoisie will would make the proletariat its own grave-digger.



* The German translation for a small toy fishtank with plastic fish: "Lebensunterhalt aus direkter Sonne leuchtet". Just retranslating this to English in the most literal of ways gives you "Keep out of direct sunlight", which is probably the phrase it was originally translated from. But in this case they picked the German words representing the words secondary meaning or literal translation: The translation for "keep" used here is the German word for the keep you earn... They also translated "light" as "leuchtet" (light up/glow), even splitting up "sunlight" into two words and literally translating each of them.

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* The German translation for a small toy fishtank with plastic fish: "Lebensunterhalt aus direkter Sonne leuchtet". Just retranslating this to English in the most literal of ways gives you "Keep out of direct sunlight", which is probably the phrase it was originally translated from. But in this case case, they picked the German words representing the words words' secondary meaning or literal translation: The translation for "keep" used here is the German word for the keep you earn... They also translated "light" as "leuchtet" (light up/glow), even splitting up "sunlight" into two words and literally translating each of them.
6th Sep '17 6:46:17 PM OnGreenDolphinStreet
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--> The machine washes the common cold separately.[[note]]Machine wash cold separately.[[/note]] Fall dry low.[[note]]Tumble dry low.[[/note]] Only the bleach of no-chlorine, when had need of.[[note]]Only non-chlorine bleach, when needed.[[/note]] Do not do the iron over the conception.[[note]]Do not iron over design.[[/note]] Do not dry neat.[[note]]Do not dry clean.[[/note]]

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--> ---> The machine washes the common cold separately.[[note]]Machine wash cold separately.[[/note]] Fall dry low.[[note]]Tumble dry low.[[/note]] Only the bleach of no-chlorine, when had need of.[[note]]Only non-chlorine bleach, when needed.[[/note]] Do not do the iron over the conception.[[note]]Do not iron over design.[[/note]] Do not dry neat.[[note]]Do not dry clean.[[/note]][[/note]]
** Rather inexplicably, numerical quantities will sometimes get butchered in translation, resulting in such hilarious oddities as a food product having different cooking temperatures in English and French, a rechargeable battery going from 500 recharges in English to 300 recharges in French or a 10 year limited warranty being reduced to one year in French.
** Other inexplicable mistakes include a "wash hands" pictogram which is captioned with "after use" in English and "before use" in French, an item which is "dishwasher safe" in English and "hand wash only" in French and a product made in U.S.A. in English and in the "[[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny People's Republic of]] U.S.A." in French.
19th Jul '17 12:56:50 PM AgProv
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** There can be misunderstandings within the wider linguistic community regarding variant meanings of the same words in Dutch and Afrikaans. In Holland, ''een poes'' is an affectionate diminutive for a cat. In South Africa, the word ''poes'' means something else completely. [[note]]clue: American English "pussy" oomes from the same root.[[/note]] Imagine, therefore, a Dutch person in South Africa trying to call his cat back to the house. ''Poes, poes, poes...''. ''Poes'' in Afrikaans might also mean "pussy". But in the Donald Trump sense.

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** There can be misunderstandings within the wider linguistic community regarding variant meanings of the same words in Dutch and Afrikaans. In Holland, ''een poes'' is an affectionate diminutive for a cat. In South Africa, the word ''poes'' means [[CountryMatters something else completely.completely]]. [[note]]clue: American English "pussy" oomes from the same root.[[/note]] Imagine, therefore, a Dutch person in South Africa trying to call his cat back to the house. ''Poes, poes, poes...''. ''Poes'' in Afrikaans might also mean "pussy". But in the Donald Trump sense.
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