Simple mistranslation causes chaos...

  Sethhaniel 10:53 08 Nov 2006

how often can just a simple word translated wrongly have a total different effect

as in following example from todays news :-

Leaflet recall after mule mix-up

Hundreds of leaflets have been scrapped after the donkey mix-up
Scotland's fire services have scrapped hundreds of leaflets after a mistake urged members of the public to jump on a donkey when fleeing a house fire.
The leaflet by the Scottish Executive for the eight fire and rescue services was aimed at Urdu readers.

The advice was that anyone leaving a burning building from a window should lower themselves on to cushions.

However, the authors got the Urdu word for cushion mixed up with another very similar Urdu word for donkey.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service said it was grateful that the misspelling had been brought to its attention.

The spokesman said it was clear within the context of the sentence that it was a mistake.

The leaflet has now been withdrawn and will be reprinted.

any other classic examples

  Vangeliska 10:56 08 Nov 2006

Just use Babelfish or Google's page translator for hundreds of examples!

  g0slp 11:11 08 Nov 2006

There's the old one about the army, with an order on a battlefield being passed down the line verbally.

It started off as "Send reinforcements; we're going to advance".

By the time the message got to the end, it was "Send Three & Fourpence; we're going to a dance"

Note for younger readers: 'Three and Fourpence' translates as 3 shillings & 4 pence; about 17p in today's money <grin>

  season8 11:36 08 Nov 2006

Telling a PC user to re-boot their PC! Yes it's an old one but had a user do it yesterday, they then said why does kcking it work!!

They may well now be labelled by the IT Dept as an ID 10 T user;-)

  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:37 08 Nov 2006

Rolls Royce named one of their prototype cars the Silver Mist...until it was pointed out that 'mist' in German menas dung (but much stronger). The car was renamed the Silver Dawn. There are many companies that have been set up witht he sole purpose of checking that any new trade names do not offend in any language.


  Z1100 11:45 09 Nov 2006

Designers for BMW had a 'good car design' and presented it to the board, they said Nein!

The group got together, split from BMW, (c 1920s) made the car which was a market success. In the process they chose to name the New Company AUDI which is Greek or Latin for Listen!


  spuds 14:32 09 Nov 2006

Nothing like giving a job to a UK translating service,that required translations of English to South American Spanish. Then spending over £2000.00 on something that nobody really understood.Learn the easy way, and get the work checked or done by local's before you go into print.

  Jim Thing 21:50 09 Nov 2006

As a new employee just arrived in Canada I asked one of our typists whether she could lend me a rubber, and couldn't understand why everyone fell about laughing.

That was more than 40 years ago and I still cringe at the recollection.

  BT 08:08 13 Nov 2006

Juist don't ask for Durex in Australia. You'll get a roll of Sticky Tape. Not quite so effective as the real thing and infinitely more pianful!!

  beynac 12:05 13 Nov 2006

Chirac was addressing an EU conference. Somebody asked him a question about some problem in Normandy. He replied that he thought that the people of Normandy were wise enough to sort this out for themselves.

The British contingent fell about laughing - Chirac's words had been translated as "Norman wisdom will resolve this problem".

  Sethhaniel 12:34 13 Nov 2006

heart attack a few years before he finally passed over the Japanese sent a telegram to america thinking it was their new ally "Lonnie Leagan"


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