Are we having fun yet? :)
Before I continue placing mistranslations on this blog, I need to clarify a few things to you, so that everyone understands exactly what it is that we are trying to accomplish here:
One of our goals is to expose ghastly mistranslations through this powerful communication tool called the Internet, so that corporations and entities around the globe who provide a source of income to the translation industry (rather than looking foolish by trying to save a buck by using Google, an ineffective machine, or an incompetent friend) use the services of a COMPETENT translator. Let’s face it: in our industry a machine has not yet been invented to replace the quality of work or human touch that a competent translator can provide. An electronic device or a ‘cheap’ unqualified translator can only produce below mediocre work which can reflect negatively on a company or entity’s image tremendously. It’s analogous with letting the guy in charge of the mail room at your company run the accounting department!
I have read your different profiles on LinkedIn and I was very impressed by the amount of demonstrated knowledge, intelligence and professional experience of my colleagues who have honored me with their participation in this blog.
We all have our own specialties and I claim NO authority in the fields of linguistics, technical terminology, science, fictional literature, etc. I do however, consider myself a near expert as a real-time interpreter for Political Asylums and Residency adjustment interviews for USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services also known as the US Department of Homeland Security) procedures, as well as a translator of legal documents meant for these processes. Therefore as professionals, we can all agree that translations are not a precise science by any means. There are many ways to interpret any given text; for example:
EXIT ONLY - something as simple as these two words can be translated from English to Spanish in many ways, to name a few: “Solo Salida”, “Solamente Salida”, “Salida Solamente”,”Unicamente Salida”, “Salida Aquí” or simply “Salida”, but NEVER in this world, “Exito Aquí", which in English means, “Success Here”. This very last translation is completely unacceptable by any standards as it makes no sense whatsoever and makes this great corporation look silly in the eyes of the consumer. Why does this happen? Because a company manager out there was not paying full attention, wanted to save a few dollars and decided to put his full trust into someone who was not qualified at all to translate this for him/her instead of hiring a competent translator.
The lesson here guys is: NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO IN LIFE, YOU MUST PAY FULL ATTENTION. Mediocrity, stupidity and greed can be very costly in many ways!
I encourage, appreciate and welcome any contributions of mistranslations in any language; mind you, I am only competent in Spanish and English so there is no way for me to evaluate mistranslations in any other languages. I can also only routinely collect mistranslations that I notice in the South Florida area, so as of now, I am “deputizing” all of you guys around the world as members of the TRANSLATION POLICE. Feel free to send in all kinds of mistranslations that you encounter out there. I will store selected posts and publish them in this blog in the order they come in. I will also give full credit individually for every mistranslation that you contribute to the cause.
Time for me to go on PATROL ;-)