Archive for Lost in translation

Intentional mistranslation?

Photograph accompanying Jun Mai, "Why Beijing isn’t Marxist enough for China’s radical millennials:  President Xi Jinping may have called for a recommitment to Karl Marx’s ideology, but excuse some young Marxists if they are a little sceptical", SCMP (5/24/18):

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Office of Mayhem Evaluation

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Frontiers of gender iconography

Here at the Seagaia Convention Center in Miyazaki, where LREC2018 is sited, the restroom iconography looks like this:


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Ninth heaven

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Colossal translation fail at the Boao Forum for Asia

China is currently hosting the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan, the smallest and southernmost province of the PRC.  The BFA bills itself as the "Asian Davos", after the World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland.  The BFA draws representatives from many countries, so naturally they have to provide translation services.  Unfortunately, the machine translation system they used this year failed miserably.  Here are screenshots of a couple of examples:

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Bidet for mother and child — not

Jeff DeMarco sent in this Hong Kong sign:

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Awful offal

The following YouTube presents "25 Crazy Things You’ll Only Find In Chinese Walmarts".  If you have 4:14 to spare and want to know what special sorts of things are sold in Chinese Walmarts, you can watch the whole video.  If you're pressed for time, then skip to 3:13, which is what I'll be discussing in this post.

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Reverse Yaourt

This morning, Thierry Michel sent in a link to the "soundtrack opening and theme" from the 2016 TV Movie Maigret Sets A Trap, which he describes as "a french-sounding song that actually makes no sense in french, something that was called 'yaourt' back in the 60s when french singers did the same with English (you wrote a few posts on that already on LL)":

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"Rural Amorous Feelings", part 2

Bob Sanders writes:

"I was just reading today's online issue of the NZ Herald and came upon the following photo":

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"Sexual harassment dried bamboo shoot"

Given the bevy of shamed politicians and celebrities who have been paraded before the public in recent weeks, it may be of interest that the word for "sexual harassment" in Chinese is quite a colorful one:


(Source)

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Bump of Chicken

Photo by Ross Bender, taken near Osaka Castle last month:

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Fixed point

From dako-xiaweiyi:

Some years ago I was hiking in a remote part of Inner Mongolia with some Chinese friends when we came into a larger than normal village with a larger than normal building with the sign in the attached picture:

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Civilized urinating

Is this Chinglish?

Source:  "Lost in translation: Chinese government aims to reduce awkward English signs" (CBS News [10/28/17]), with several other prime examples.

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