Posted on July 22nd, 2008
Yesterday my friend forwarded me this post about the dangers of relying on machine translation.
Apparently some poor Chinese translator typed the Chinese characters for “restaurants” into an online translation tool and mistook the error message of the translation server being temporarily unavailable to be the translation of what he input! And this translation made it to a large public sign.
All the more reason to check your important translations with a native speaker, or contact me for help!
Posted on June 16th, 2008
Some classic poor English at a restaurant I went to over the weekend in Shibuya, Tokyo. Okay, I think it does convey the point that you have to pay for your meal at the time of ordering. But still, for a restaurant in cosmopolitan downtown Tokyo, I think we can do better. Even a literal translation of the Japanese (“advance payment system”) would be better than what they have!
Shock English: advance pay the price
Correct English: Please pay in advance