Having accurate translations is important for so many reasons. But, mostly, it will keep your branded materials from going viral for all the wrong reasons. We rounded up 16 funny, odd, and bizarre translation mistakes, from slogans to menu items.
Funny Translation Mistakes
Funny translation mistakes and language mistakes surprise and delight us all. Depending on the context they can be called “Chinglish,” “Engrish,” “Spanglish,” or something along those lines. But usually they are called “Google Translate”!
Sharing translation mistakes in advertising is not mockery. Rather there is something fascinating about how our language can be put in ways we would never have imagined.
Nevertheless, when you are expanding your brand to a foreign market or when you are sending personal emails to foreign language speakers in your company, you don’t want to be known as the person whose communication is full of embarrassing mistakes in French, Spanish, Chinese, or whatever.
As you look at these funny, zany, wacky, and absurd translation bloopers, don’t laugh at the speakers of other languages. Instead, look at yourself and remember that this is how speakers of other languages view your content when you carelessly translate it with Google Translate for “free” or with unqualified translators for nearly free.
Remember that there is no such thing as “free translations.” You can pay UP FRONT by hiring good translators, or you can pay AFTER by using Google Translate. These costs come in the form of lost opportunities, lost customers, tarnished brand image, and possibly even lawsuits and hospital bills!
Always make sure that your content is translated into other languages by qualified expert translators who can relate your words as intelligently into a foreign language as you did into your own language.
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We hope these funny translation fails can be a cautionary tale for everyone: Don’t entrust your content to either a computer or unqualified freelancers for translation. Work with translators with expertise in the subject matter of the content as well as qualification in the translation profession.
Here’s one last picture. The people translating the menu couldn’t find a translation of the dish, so they put . . . .
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