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 website of ITI Scottish Network. We hope you enjoy them.
If you come across funny mistranslations, feel free to share them with us.
- Sexy tourist agency
The Kinki Nippon Tourist Company had no other choice but to change its name for the English-speaking market. It was receiving lots of requests for unusual sex tours.
- Turkey? Which turkey?
In French-speaking Quebec, a T-shirt made in Turkey was marked as ‘Fabriqué en Dinde’ instead of ‘Fabriqué en Turquie’. If true, this would have been a masterpiece of modern production engineering, since dinde is the sort of turkey you eat at Christmas.
- Who says the Swiss aren’t open-minded?
A sign in a Swiss hotel reads: ‘Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.’ In Zurich, they certainly prefer to keep things out in the open