We spend a lot of time talking about computer translation technology here at Bubbles. And while the technology has improved immeasurably over the last few years, there’s still plenty of progress to be made. Businesses that overestimate the technology and rely on it for their international marketing campaigns do so to at their own peril. Here’s a look at some of the most amusing examples.
1. So broken
If you squint a little bit and turn your head sideways, this translation from Finnish almost makes sense. In fairness, Finnish is a monstrously difficult language to translate from, being completely unrelated to most European languages, and only very distantly related to Hungarian.
2. The perfect contraceptive
This is a perfect example of how machine translation fails to understand nuance and semantics in language.
While this sentence makes perfect grammatical sense, it requires a certain understanding of both food and pregnancy and how the two do or don’t relate, to truly appreciate how absurd the sentence is.
3. How to arrange a sentence
In their defence, there’s nothing strictly wrong with this statement. Other than slightly awkward sentence structure, the facts being presented are fairly indisputable. But that being said, it is rather stating the obvious – and we’re willing to bet the original language’s equivalent statement had a little more nuance to it.
4. Please do not feed the flamingos
So near yet so far. ‘Please do not feed the flamingos’, whilst definitely working as a translation is somewhat undermined by the picture directly above it, which definitely features an animal that looks nothing like a flamingo.
In fact, the Spanish ‘llamingos’ describes an animal not too dissimilar from the English ‘llama’.
5. Fall down – carefully
This is perhaps the biggest translation fail on this list, where the sign definitely instructs the exact opposite of what it was initially intended to achieve. It’s quite likely the sign was created to warn against slipping – not actively encourage it.
If you want to avoid an embarrassing spot on our next translation fails roundup – then you’ll certainly want to make sure you conduct your international translation campaigns properly. Luckily, our language translation services at Bubbles are here to make that a reality. Contact us to find out how we can your business today.