Translation Blunders: Good for a Laugh, Bad for Business

Have you ever come across a translation done so poorly that you wonder who could have possibly approved the text and sent it for publication? Don’t worry – you’re not alone! If you’re anything like we are, you’ve probably kept an eye out (either intentionally or not!) for poorly translated text. There are pages and pages of search results displaying websites dedicated to such translations. We wanted to add one of our own examples to the mix.

We took this photo near a chairlift in a mountainous region of Brazil.

As you can imagine, safety is of pretty high importance when riding a chairlift in the mountains. But here, we’re reminded to “have fun with safety” instead of being alerted that there’s an actual safety warning to follow, per the Portuguese text in bold. Obviously, the English reader will still get the idea of what’s being communicated, but we thought, since this is regarding mountain-height chairlift safety and all, the government probably could have taken the translation a bit more seriously and ensured the quality of the translation.

No matter how short the text may be, hiring a reputable translation company can save a lot of the headache (and potential monetary loss if the blunder is severe enough) that can come with having this type of mistake in your own material, as you can guarantee the quality of the translation without worry. Dependable translation companies work to ensure their translators are not only qualified to do the work, but will take additional steps to have this work proofread by other qualified linguists for the best possible results. Your peace of mind is definitely worth the investment.

So, what translation blunders have you encountered recently? Let us know in the comments below!