Reader CM writes:
Last Sunday I went to a cafe in central Wiesbaden. In Germany, some ingredients have to be declared on restaurant menus. This is usually done via footnotes, with a key on the last page. That's what was done on this cafe's menu, and the footnotes in German were completely unremarkable:
But the English version of the footnotes delivered a wonderfully weird little surprise:
These are mostly as expected — though maybe "food coloring" would be more idiomatic than "dye" — except for the the translation of "Koffeinhaltig" (which really means "caffeine-containing") as "Suitcase".
The waitress was quite confused when I ordered a coke "but without the luggage please" – and *very* amused when I showed her the footnote (she speaks fluent English).
I have no idea how this could have happened, except for the fact that the German noun for "suitcase" is "Koffer", sounding vaguely like "Koffein". It can't be a google translation, and it certainly has not been done by anyone with even a minimal knowledge of the English language.
Could it be a combination of German-side spelling correction (turning e.g. "Koffen" to "Koffer") followed by some careless machine-assisted translation?