When Translation Goes Wrong... #GoogleTranslateFails

When Translation Goes Wrong... #GoogleTranslateFails

We have pointed out the pitfalls of Google translate before, and we hope it goes without saying that it is wholly inadequate to the task of translating anything as important as a legal document.

Alongside its search engine and excellent maps tool, Google's translate tool has undoubtedly improved our lives. Trips abroad are less fraught and foreign media is more accessible.

However, with speed and automation comes weakness. Such a tool simply cannot deduce the true meaning of a word or phrase and often substitutes literal translations - with hilarious consequences. In this blog, we'll look at some occasions where Google (or some other similar tool) has provided a translation - and a chuckle.

1. Hast thou left a review?

First up, a very lyrical review of a Matcha Tea cafe in Ireland, translated from Finnish to English. Almost Shakespearean:

2. Beatles conspiracy or Italian food?

We're not sure if this is actually is a translate fail, or simply the staff at the Erbil International Hotel lending their support to the conspiracy theory that Paul McCartney died in the 60s and was replaced by a doppelgänger...

3. Tastes like Chicken

Well, the Smiths did sing that "Meat is Murder" so perhaps the purveyors of this particular poultry are simply post-punk pop-pickers.

We think we preferred the Colonel's "Secret blend of 11 Herbs and Spices" as a tagline when selling chicken...

4. A wine that defies categorisation...

You simply can't pigeonhole this plonk... 

5. A warning from the deep

While mermaids were feared by early sailors for their penchant for luring sailors to their death on the rocks, it appears the semi-aquatic maidens have turned over a new leaf and now warn humans of impending natural disasters...

6. Surf and Turf

A unique twist on the Steak and Seafood classic offered up by Amazon. Perhaps this is a delicacy in some parts of the world, but we hope it's a #GoogleTranslateFail

7. The Gardeners Friend

Sometimes, there is a certain beauty in the literal translation, and if anything could compel us not to tread on fresh grass, it's this sign...

So, as we can see, Google translate is usually useful, often imperfect and frequently hilarious. While it can serve as a vital aid to get the gist of something, any serious translation should be undertaken by experts. 

Contact IMD Translation 

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