Traditional translator bloopers in menus and signage

No one is safe from mistakes. Especially when it comes to amateur translators. When it comes to translations, these uneducated professionals prefer to check word definitions in a dictionary and then use electronic translators. As a result, unique «international masterpieces» are born from time to time in the field of translation of movies, songs, signs and menus. Should we treat it as a humour or a serious administrative offence? Let’s explore the sensitive subject in more detail!

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Foreign signs with translation to «2+».

There is, arguably, no country which does not excel in original translations of signs. Based on the frequency of common «translation mistakes», we can even create a separate classification of translation bloopers:

street names (Shotgun Street, Revival Street, Blue Dali Street);
names of geographical objects (Altai Lake Bitter-Peresheechnoe, Green Beach);
mistakes in translation of traditional service phrases (in Hotel Bashkortostan the phrase «Please clean up my number» is translated as «Please, clean up my number»; in Hotel Bryansk the popular phrase «Please clean up the room» is spelled no differently than «Please, remove the room»);
advertising signs (manufacturing of keys in Sochi — Klyuchnaya workshop, Kuban wines — Best Burger, slogan «Turn it loose» of beer producer Coors in Spain translated as «Suffer from diarrhoea»)

And all this on the assumption that in most cases the proper names suggest literal translation. Where such irresponsibility can lead to, it is difficult to say. If in one case it could be seen as a sign of illiteracy, in another case, given a fertile imagination, it could become a pretext for unleashing an international war.

The great and mighty Russian translation menu

A special field of translation bloopers are mistakes in foreign menus. Seeing an original translation of a dish or its ingredients in a café or restaurant really takes the edge off your appetite:

Deep-fried chicken — the fragrance bursts of salty crisp chicken;
Liquors — alcohol;
The icecream in ass;
Natural rice;
Fried chicken with basil & chilli; Fried chicken with chilli & basil;
Salad from tongue and a fig;
Reserved egg — very questionable eggs.

And these are just a small part of the «funny» interpretations of foreign words and expressions that are born out of the liberty of translation. How can you protect your business from a tainted reputation and eliminate the likelihood of translation error?

The only true solution is to choose proven organizations specializing in translation services. Only there can you get professional help and support, based on extensive experience and a fine knowledge of their business, rather than resorting to electronic translators, who, by the way, are far from perfect.