Author Topic: Amusing translation errors  (Read 7836 times)

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Amusing translation errors
« on: April 16, 2012, 09:31:22 am »
I'm sure there must be a thread like this already but Search couldn't help me find it!

Anyway, I had the following email from a nice German chappie I've been in communication with about an App for my phone to log my position on my forthcoming bike ride:

Quote
The current GPSLogbook Version is capable of fitting all your needs, including an embedded map view in your blog.

I will answer your mail in detail tomorrow as it is now getting too late.

Best Regards and be anxious!
I am now anxious!
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 09:53:03 am »
Oh gods, I love mistranslations...we use them quite deliberately within the family for amusement.  Colloquialisms (like playing it by ear) in particular make for really funny expressions when direct translated!  Swenglish ftw!

My father was once introduced as the department VD by an overenthusiastic co-worker...(VD in Swedish=vice director/vice president...it's used daily as a title)   :facepalm:

I had great difficulty for a while with the old-fashioned Swedish word karrott (=serving bowl), which sounded too much like carrot to make sense...lol   ;D




snail

  • Inch by inch.
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 10:35:26 am »
Kind of a reverse-translation funny. I do some private tutoring and have been teaching a Thai lady. I use lots of English names in the sentences so we have "Dave goes to the shop" and "Jim eats cake". Every time I said "Jim" she howled with laughter.

A few weeks later I discovered that the way I say "Jim" sounds exactly like the Thai word for vagina.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 10:39:36 am »
I had exactly the same when teaching a class of Polish 16-year-olds comparatives and superlatives. We were using a text book which had taken prices as its theme for this topic, and "cheaper" sounds just like the Polish for "vagina" or rather something more colloquial but not quite obscene, say "pussy".
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

barakta

  • Bastard lovechild of Yomiko Readman and Johnny 5
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 01:17:27 pm »
I once tried to sign (in British Sign Language) "English is a stupid language, it's for Germans" to excuse myself for being crap at English. 

I mis-signed 'German' and signed 'Shark' instead.

Now when I am tired I will sign English is for sharks to let Kim know I will probably not be making sense any more.

I'm not very good at BSL. 

Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 01:53:15 pm »
I noticed that google translate was getting into product placement the other day
"laatste wielernieuws" comes out as "Shimano disc brake movies last".
Even I can work out it should be something along the laines of "latest cycling news", and my knowledge of dutch is verging on non-existent.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2012, 04:27:19 pm »
When I was an HMCE person of a computery persuasion I obtained a Certificate of Proficiency in SSADM. I've forgotten the name of the company that trained us, but the model we were using was based upon designing a system for a local football association. It was abbreviated to "LoFA".

The chaps training us told us of an occasion on which the course almost broke down in riotous hilarity when the class was mainly made up of Hungarians. It would appear that "lo fa" in Magyar means "horse's todger".
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2012, 04:39:32 pm »
My mate in Iran told me that Iranians, when speaking a foreign language, often make literal translations from Farsi.

Colloquial Farsi for "I fucked up/made a mistake" translates literally into English as "I ate shit".

So the story goes, an Iranian in New York parks on double yellow lines and, when he returns to the car, a no-nonsense New Yoik cop is giving him a ticket.

By way of apology and explanation, the Iranian tells the cop "I ate shit!"

The cop comes over all concerned for the welfare of this poor bastard who's eaten shit and doesn't seem to speak much English, and he calls for an ambulance, telling them that "there's a guy here who ate shit - I think he should see a doctor."

Becoming ever more flustered, the Iranian is taken into an ambulance and off to a hospital. The doctors ask him what the problem is.

He tells them: "I ate shit when I said that I ate shit!"

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2012, 02:10:59 pm »
A comment on my blog:

Quote
Bite the street Helen!!!! You're a great one!!! Greetings from Italy David
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2012, 12:47:22 pm »
From the label of a garment made in China, bought in Poland:

Do not blanch.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2012, 06:05:36 pm »
From the instructions of the Lidl-Barbieri chain cleaner:

Use rage or paper towel to catch fluid in excess from the chain.

TBF I think that's a typo or cupertino rather than an actual translation error.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2012, 07:14:26 pm »
I translate gwynt y ddraig as the dragons fart either way if you come across this, it comes very highly recommended

I think it's supposed to be the dragons breath

Andrij

  • Андрій
  • Ερασιτεχνικός μισάνθρωπος
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2012, 07:29:31 pm »
I translate gwynt y ddraig as the dragons fart either way if you come across this, it comes very highly recommended

I think it's supposed to be the dragons breath

I wouldn't think there's much difference!
;D  Andrij.  I pronounce you Complete and Utter GIT   :thumbsup:

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2012, 06:01:16 pm »
Warm Hint:

Remember: Should keep in the place where the small children cannot touch. In case they swallow the parts.

Remember: Do not play on the head, in case it hurts when it falls down.

Remember: Do the experiment in the place where can be wet.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2012, 07:00:24 pm »
I've no idea what language these iphone case instructions were translated from, or to for that matter!

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2012, 10:32:55 am »
I think Feature 3 means you can put in your fish pond to scare away herons.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2012, 12:49:31 pm »
Warm Hint:

Remember: Should keep in the place where the small children cannot touch. In case they swallow the parts.

Remember: Do not play on the head, in case it hurts when it falls down.

Remember: Do the experiment in the place where can be wet.

I'm trying to guess what it might relate to. Haven't a clue.

I like "warm hint"!

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2012, 01:54:51 pm »
Warm Hint:

Remember: Should keep in the place where the small children cannot touch. In case they swallow the parts.

Remember: Do not play on the head, in case it hurts when it falls down.

Remember: Do the experiment in the place where can be wet.

I'm trying to guess what it might relate to. Haven't a clue.

I like "warm hint"!
It's a model of a water mill for kids to assemble, which explains "Do the experiment in the place where can be wet." I've no idea what "play on the head" is about!
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2012, 08:48:00 pm »
One of my colleagues had a foil pack of Chinese "Nurition Pickles for Students" with his lunch today. It had this warning on the back:


Picture 0145 by Panticle, on Flickr
If I had a baby elephant, it could help me wash the car. If I had a car.

See my recycled crafts at www.wastenotwantit.co.uk

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2012, 02:00:41 pm »
Rose Versand sent me an email about Willingen Bike Festival, although not where Willingen is. In searching through their menus in the English language section I came across a broken link which said:

Quote
Page Not Found

Reason: Page is not available in the requested language (strict).
Not entirely sure of the purpose of the 'strict' there!
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2012, 02:05:14 pm »
Probably in the pragma sense: The PHP or Perl or whatever interpreter's saying that it's been instructed not to allow certain otherwise legal shortcuts/sloppinesses (depending on your view) in the code, which helps avoid stupid bugs.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2012, 08:41:05 pm »
Just had a rather sweet comment on my blog from a German chap:

Quote
searching for Einbeck, I found Your travel diary. Since June 18th I am working at Kayser Automotive in order to design active carbon filtering devices for fuelled vehicles. It's good to hear something about the accomodation possibilities in the region. You writing manner is a good one for me, I like to be a witness if Your big journey. I am currently living in Wuppertal (remember the famous suspension railway!) and it necessary to gear up to Einbeck over 290km every Monday and Friday. My guesthouse is located in Kuventhal and there You can stay overnight for less than 30€! Totally quiet place, sometimes it seems like a graveyard (smile). Keep on writing, Dear Auntie!
I love the ever-present German "possibilities" that they use all the time; we would often say "options" instead. Möglichkeiten cover a multitude of sins!
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Gasman

  • Practising Indifferent
  • Runnin' reds, killin' peds!
    • Morrisons Home Page
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2012, 09:32:07 pm »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/j65dLyAu47s&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/j65dLyAu47s&rel=1</a>

I heard a story of a Scottish football coach who took a team of boys on a trip to France to play a few games.  During one match he was alerted to a commotion at one end of the pitch where his goalkeeper was having a set-to with some local lads.  He went and broke up the fight and asked the goalie what was going on.

"He was calling me a wanker!" the goalie protested indicating one of the French boys.

The coach went to investigate, returned shortly after and cuffed his goalie about the head saying,

"Not 'wanker' ya pillock, 'vainqueur' he's just asking if you're winning!
Ah, well, The Code is more what you'd call goidloines than actual roolz!

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2012, 10:49:17 am »
Ultimate visibility
Homogeneous light-ring
thus very good distance estimate descendant vehicles!
Good visibility from the side

from http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/k999/a59791/saferide-led-rear-light.html

I love 'descendant' for 'approaching from behind'.  :)
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Re: Amusing translation errors
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2012, 09:44:10 pm »
At work we've recently bought two sets of scales for weighing rubbish. I was tasked with plugging them in to charge today, and when a green light came on, I looked in the manual to see if that meant 'charging' or 'charged'.

The manual was helpless on that subject, but I found the following:

"It is forbidden that weld the indicator. When there is thunderstorm, please make solution for avoiding the thunder. in this way it can protect the safe of scales and stuff"

Oh. Right.

Lightning's not a problem then?

If I had a baby elephant, it could help me wash the car. If I had a car.

See my recycled crafts at www.wastenotwantit.co.uk