Google Gone Wrong: Mishaps in Translation - Guest Post

Discussion in 'Articles & Tutorials' started by Fergal, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Google Gone Wrong: Mishaps in Translation - Guest Post

    I’m sure we have all used Google Translate or Babel Fish to write to a pen friend…or maybe just to fake being fluent in another language. The problem is, using these websites may well blow your cover. Not such a disaster if it’s for personal use, but if you are using a free translation service for work, then it just might cost you your job. If you ever wondered why you should use professional multilingual SEO, then keep reading.

    Kill the Russians!
    Japanese gamers playing “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” were caught out by a translation error in the Japanese release. In the American version, one of the leading characters urges the characters following him not to speak Russian (in a Russian airport). His comment “Remember, no Russian,” was mistranslated as “Kill ‘em; they’re Russians.”

    Miracle cure
    Pepsi ruffled some feathers when they introduced their product to the Chinese market. Instead of “Come alive with the Pepsi generation,” their slogan was translated to “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead.” A bold claim, even for Pepsi.

    My daddy is a pen
    Parker Pens must have wished they used professional translation services after they launched an advertising campaign in Mexico. What was supposed to read, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you,” was translated to “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.” Heaven knows what Parker Pens put in their ink.

    Dodgy beer
    Coors beer could have saved some embarrassment if they had used professional translation services for their Spanish advert. Their slogan, “Turn it loose” was translated to “Suffer from Diarrhea.” Needless to say, this sent their customers running (and no, not for the toilet).

    Naked passengers
    American Airlines launched a risqué advert when they invited their Mexican passengers to “Fly naked.” In fact, what they really meant was “Fly in leather,” a slogan with just as raunchy connotations, but rather innocently was intended to promote flying first class.

    So if you don’t want to be called into your boss’s office on a Monday morning, laughed at, then shouted at, and then sacked, you might want to think about calling in the professionals. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
     
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  2. Biz

    Biz
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    Thanks for the good laugh, Fergal!

    I happened to just have a discussion on your AdsLotto forum about why Google Translate could never be relied on for serious work, with someone who replied to my translation ad saying Google Translate does it for free. Free is nice, especially that it also generously gives you all the comedy materials free as bonuses ;) ... Your stories are even much funnier than mine :))
     
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  3. Quacker Jack

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    You would think that major corporations, such as American Airlines or Pepsi, would hire a professional translator. They don't even cost that much, especially relative to the cost of errors like these. That's like rereleasing a Japanese video game by using google translate. I am half tempted to go get a literal translation for Google to see how inaccurate that can be.
     

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