Translation Mistakes That Had Huge Consequences

Written by on June 14, 2019 in Stuff with 0 Comments

Errare humanum est. This Latin proverb is easy for everyone to translate into English: To err is human. However, not every sentence in a different language is so obvious for interpretation. Here, in this set, prepared for you by Lighthouse Online, you will find funny and shocking examples of mistakes made by people who failed and got lost in translations.

Word for word

Literal translations are often risky. Inexperienced interpreters often make this mistake and forget about unique meanings of idioms. Idiomatic expressions make sense usually only in one language and only in one situation. Presidents in their speeches want to sound eloquent and vivid, so they use idioms from time to time. Do they control their interpreters? Do translations always match the president’s intentions behind idioms? Not always.

False friends: Paarden – Pardon

Words cross borders, but sometimes they change their meanings along the way. Not all people remember about this linguistic phenomenon. So if you hear a word spoken by a foreigner, which sounds similar to your own language, make sure it means what you think and is not a so-called false friend.

Translating metric systems

A lot of problems with translations are due to metric differences between two countries. Here they use miles, there they use kilometres, or here lbs, and there kgs. The translator sometimes faces metric system translating. In the case of measure units, translating equals calculating and changing the digits of various amounts. Digit change along with word translation. Translating words and leaving digits as they were in the original, can bring even fatal results.

Trust professionals

To avoid translation mistakes you can do one thing – hire highly trained professionals. Employ translators who are near bilingual and know all about idioms, metric systems, false friends and other traps of cross languages writing and speaking

For further mistakes and misunderstandings check the infographic by that is provided below.

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