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 Daily Mail online. We hope you enjoy them.
If you come across funny mistranslations, leave a comment to share them with us.
- The earth is moving
In a Chinese bathroom, a sign which appears to be warning people of a slippery surface, warns of a far greater risk: ‘Be careful of landslide’. Most English-speaking bathroom visitors would probably look for another bathroom.
- Informative sign
Passengers in an airport were advised that a plane to Xiamen was ‘delayed due to some reasons’. After all, everyone has their reasons – why not planes?
- Save the environment
A sign in a Chinese park speaks to your animist self: ‘Don’t tread the grass as they also have life’. Now that’s a metaphysical statement.