Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Funny’

Controller instructionsLast year I got an imitation dual shock controller on e-bay. It came from Hong Kong for $3.95 plus shipping, a small price to pay for being able to play old Super Nintendo games on my laptop every once in a while. I was tidying up when I found the precious piece of thin cardboard with the device’s instructions, and I though I should share some of the major fails for some unpretentious, late-August translation fun.

Let’s just go past the typos and other minor signs of awkwardness like “Taking you into wonderful game word”. After all, I was expecting Chinglish and nothing else. Some of the translations, though, are so convoluted and obscure that I doubt even the least impressive automatic translators could do worse.

First and foremost, how to take care of the controller. Please remember to

Avoid high temperature, aquosity and direct sunlight

and, most importantly,

Don’t use the causticity liquid clear the product surface.

On a different note, customers will be pleased to know that

The reasonable human body construction design felling is more comfortable

Dual-shocked, yet? Wait, there is more. Firstly,

the rubberized and texture operation parts defend the sweat antiskid

plus, you might be happy to find out that this device can

Imitate the mode to convert with normal regulations mode arbitrarity

Finally, what I assume was meant as a warning about any warranty becoming void if you open the controller:

Private to dismantle the product does not belong to protect fix the scope

Now, I am sure there are plenty of qualified Chinese-to-English translators who could have translated the whole lot for about $20. But let’s assume that’s too much money to pay for whichever obscure company manufactures these gadgets – the company name or details are nowhere to be found, talk about dodgy… Still, I bet that the average Chinese high school student can produce something at least more intelligible than this.

Sure, you’ll say, it was only a $3.95 controller. And after seeing those translation horrors on Italia.it, Italy’s official tourism website, this is really nothing. And that’s true, of course, but I always enjoy a good old translation fail.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Time for some unpretentious linguistic fun once again. I have always found this little linguistic comparison to be amusing, as it is a case of well-known stereotypes being reinforced not by outsiders, but from within each community of speakers. We are talking about how the four languages I speak express – through well-crystallised idioms – the notion that a specific issue should be kept out of the interlocutor’s sphere of interest, so to speak…

So, an English speakers would go with the good old

“This is none of your business.”

Whereas the French speaker would instead use a different image in

“C’est pas tes oignons” meaning “These are not your onions.”

It gets better when we learn that the German speaker would use yet another expression:

“Das is nicht dein Bier” which means “This is not your beer.”

Finally, Italians – luckily – do go for the “business” option in formal situations, but the reality is that colloquially we would say

“Non sono cazzi tuoi” meaning, ehm “These are not your dicks.”

I swear. They might use “affari” (business) or “cavoli” (cabbages) instead of “cazzi”, but it will take an active effort on their part, as the colloquialism is – as it often happens – simply a bit more vulgar in Italian.

So, looking at these four expressions, it has always struck me as ironic that four stereotypes – the business-like Englishman, the beer-drinking German, the onion-eating French and the sex-obsessed Italian – are reinforced here not by hateful or racist outsiders, but instead by the very community which falls victim to the stereotype in question.

Do you know of other interesting ways to express this concept in other languages that you speak? I’m looking forward to finding out in your comments.

Read Full Post »

A hilarious collection of unfortunate translations from all over the world. Via De Traductores.

Cocktail lounge, Norway:
Ladies are Requested Not to have Children in the Bar

At a Budapest zoo:
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty

Hotel, Acapulco:
The Manager has Personally Passed All the Water Served Here

Car rental brochure, Tokyo:
“When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.”

On an Athi River highway:
TAKE NOTICE: When this sign is under water, this road is impassable.

Tokyo hotel’s rules and regulations:
Guests are requested NOT to smoke or do other disgusting behaviors in bed.

Hotel lobby, Bucharest:
The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.

Hotel elevator, Paris:
Please leave your values at the front desk.

Hotel, Japan:
You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

[…]

Hotel, Zurich:
Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, is it suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.

Airline ticket office, Copenhagen:
We take your bags and send them in all directions.

[…]

Belgrade hotel elevator:
To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.

Athens hotel:
Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.

Read Full Post »