Created By: norsicnumber2nd on October 14, 2012 Last Edited By: norsicnumber2nd on October 14, 2012

Writer Used Internet Translation

The foreigner speaks their language not badly, but not well either.

Name Space:
Page Type:
Do We Have This One?? Needs a Better Title Needs Examples Possible Names: Cant Speak Their Own Language, Eloquent In A Foreign Tongue

So, Bob is now el Bob-o and lives in the beautiful Tuscan Madrid, speaking the Spanish with all his definitely Spanish friends. Of course, the writer of this work isn't Spanish. He isn't Captain Obvious, either. And, more importantly, doesn't have the time to find someone who speaks Spanish to write the Spanish. el Bob-o is now a Spanish man who does not speak Spanish as you would expect a Spaniard to speak Spanish. Instead he speaks Spanish as that unbranded translator which language teachers tell you not to use for your homework speaks Spanish or the English/Spanish Dictionary does, resulting in Spanish-speaking (or listening, or reading) audience members to raise their eyebrows in confusion at the relative in-correctness of it all.

This isn't Gratuitous Foreign Language, as it is usually clear as to what the character is trying to say, even if it isn't correct. For example, aforementioned translator says that "My name is Bob" is, in Spanish, "Mi nombre es Bob", whereas its really "Soy Bob" or "Me llamo Bob". In this example, the translation provided is perfectly literal, which just doesn't happen in Real Life when translating.

This doesn't happen all that often any more, as productions now usually employ a foreign-language speaker. Not that they always help much. You can still criticise the foreign languages in airports, for Pete's sake!

Often results in a "Blind Idiot" Translation and sometimes just becomes a Translation Train Wreck, usually given a Translation Correction when exported. When the writer is aware of how awful it will probably be, the character will most likely Switch to English at some point. The opposite of this is Eloquent in My Native Tongue. Commonly done with FanFictions.
Community Feedback Replies: 2
  • October 14, 2012
    Complaining about Translations and covered by other tropes. Discarding.
  • October 14, 2012
    Hey, I've looked through all the Translation Tropes and haven't found one that says "Writer used internet and/or dictionary so the translation was right but not right" and I wasn't complaining, either. If we have tropes for "They don't speak the language", why can't we have this?