There’s nothing like hilarious translation fails to remind us how valuable quality professional translation is!
As globalization increases, so does the demand for quality language services. Businesses & organizations in all industries are expanding their global reach to serve the needs of consumers all over the world.
Let these hilarious translation fails serve as a serious reminder that accurate communication and translation are key to getting the right message across.
1. Fishy Shoes
Who doesn’t want to feel like a bass when wearing shoes, am I right?
Translation of digital content is just as important as translating physical documents. Many businesses start their global expansion by selling their products and services online, which requires quality website localization.
This company did not get the memo…
2. Hello, Death
In 2018, Coca-Cola attempted to appeal to New Zealand consumers by combining 2 languages spoken in the country – English and the indigenous language of Māori.
Unfortunately, “mate” in Māori means “death”, making the full translation “Hello, Death”.
Oh, hello death. I am going to run as far away from you as possible!
Wow – what an easy way to lose sales. This localization error can easily be avoided if a company is working with an experienced language services provider (LSP). Quality LSP’s will only utilize translators who are native to the country & region in which the target language is spoken.
Protecting the brand during translation should be the highest priority for businesses needing language services. Do NOT let this happen to your brand!
3. Who ordered 15,000 eggs??
During the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, a team of Norwegian chefs attempted to place an order for 1,500 eggs. The team did not speak the language, and used the Google Translate app to aid in placing their order.
Much to their surprise, when the delivery came, seemingly endless cases of eggs poured into their kitchen. The translation app had inaccurately translated “1,500” – to “15,000”! The chefs took it in stride and were able to return the excess 13,500 eggs.
This predicament illustrates why relying on free translation engines like Google Translate can be risky. It is especially risky for businesses and other organizations, as their reputation could be badly damaged after an embarrassing mistranslation – resulting in an even more embarrassing situation!
Unfortunately quality always suffers when a service is free, easy, and cheap. And when quality suffers, so does your reputation.
Here are more mistranslations we found that are sure to tickle your funny bone.
4. Unfortunate news about Paul…
Isn’t this what everyone wants to see on a buffet sign – news about Paul?
This Arabic transliteration of the word “Meat Ball” did not literally translate well into English.
The employees at this hotel were probably not aware that “Meat Ball” is not an Arabic or Kurdish word.
5. Coconut – what?
This is a great example of how important quality translation is in product packaging and descriptions.
Clearly, this cannibalistic description was mistranslated from Arabic to English, and should have been caught in the quality assurance step of the translation process.
#6 Appetizing salad option
What is it with hotels and buffet signs? Somebody, please, get them quality translation – STAT!
#7 Where do we even start…
Bathing in debt? Parent lenders? There are no saves?
Wow, we have so many questions, and so few answers.