I Beg Your Pardonne? Laughing at and Minding Mistranslations

Language MistranslationsEveryone takes language seriously at a certain point. When the conversation pivots to heavy matters or simply becomes about business, it would be very awkward if anyone misspeaks. But in most cases, mistaking one word for another, even an entire phrase, is a cause to laugh. It is because when someone who barely knows the language tried to hide it behind a wall of confidence, it is hilarious when they pull a stern face while saying the wrong things.

Google Translate is the biggest enemy of professional language translation. It undermines the work of Lingua Technologies International and other companies that invest in hiring multi-lingual individuals who painstakingly translate speeches, press releases and other content down to the last detail. On the other hand, Translate is also a big source of entertainment for translators. The program can sometimes provide a too-literal translation or an answer that does not make any sense.

The Edge of Human

No one today would be alive when computers can translate so accurately that it accounts for context, local medium and other aspects that make professional translation professional. A human translation is still better than any software. There are too many things a computer cannot do, incalculable things that are valuable for accurate communication.

But that does not mean a human translation is always correct. On the contrary, anyone or anything that assumes to grasp another language will say something wrong, which will be funny. No one knows for sure if these tops in Japan had vagueness in mind, but it is clear that something got lost in translation. It is the same story with people who attempted to translate English to French, rudimentary interpretations that are a good laugh, but a tragic misrepresentation of the French language.

One can only imagine if such mistranslations were to happen when something severe is on the line, such as a business deal or potential market for products. This is why finding the right words, especially between societies that speak a different tongue, is important. It is funny sometimes, but it is still wrong.