Flutterby™! : Translate carefully

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Translate carefully

2008-12-10 15:30:11.652979+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

You always hear of this as the urban legend, as the woman who decorated her dress with characters from the Chinese restaurant menu, ending up with "this dish cheap but delicious", and, of course, there are web sites like Hanzi Smatter, that keep up with unintentionally embarrassing tattoos, but this time the Max Plank Institute used the wrong text to illustrate a report on China:

There were red faces on the editorial board of one of Germany's top scientific institutions, the Max Planck Institute, after it ran the text of a handbill for a Macau strip club on the front page of its latest journal. Editors had hoped to find an elegant Chinese poem to grace the cover of a special issue, focusing on China, of the MaxPlanckForschung journal, but instead of poetry they ran a text effectively proclaiming "Hot Housewives in action!" on the front of the third-quarter edition. Their "enchanting and coquettish performance" was highly recommended.

Hanzi Smatter has a full translation, and links to Language Log on the topic.

[ related topics: Humor Sexual Culture Current Events ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-10 18:53:57.712052+00 by: Dwayne

Reminds me of this story I read some time ago: http://www.zug.com/pranks/tattoo/index.html

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-11 04:06:15.925719+00 by: JT

Engrish is a fantastic site with some good laughs over (mis)translations.