Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bad Translations

A computer was once asked to translate “out of sight, out of mind” into other languages and back into English, and came up with “blind insanity”.

Due to English confusion, an Italian film with English subtitles had a policeman asking a motorist for a sweater – a “pullover”, get it?

In a Spanish film, a man asking “if he could bring a date to a funeral” was translated into “if he could bring a fig to the funeral.” (date = fig, or some such fruit… rather than “a companion of the opposite gender for possible romantic interaction”)

A sign in a park somewhere in Asia

A Congressman once told a Joint National Committee on Languages in 1988 that “If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for me.” He’d better be learning Aramaic and Hebrew and giving up pork as well!

The Oxford English Dictionary sells as much in Japan as in America, each one third more than in England.

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