All translations are not equal. A good translation is one that conveys the same meaning as the source text and sounds natural in the target language (if that is the desired outcome of the translation). Some do just the opposite. Here are some of the greatest howlers found in translation, taken from the Engrish website and real life. We hope you enjoy them.
If you come across funny mistranslations, leave a comment to share them with us.
1. Of nuts and bolts
Kirkcaldie and Stain’s regularly organises facials for a famous New Zealand-made cosmetic brand. The products are all natural, if not certified organic. As an international brand, the package has translations into French and Italian. One surprising ingredient is “huile d’écrou”, or nut oil of the mechanical sort.
2. Violent food
A restaurant in China serves dishes with rather violent names. These include: the ‘Slip away the chicken slice’, the ‘Temple explodes the chicken cube’, and the ‘Black mushrooms rape’. I would be nervous just sitting at a table there.
3. Bathroom inspectors
The bathroom door of a Chinese restaurant in Sydney reads: ‘Strictly hung restaurant customer use only – For your safety obtain the key at the counter’. You better not have a weak bladder!