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Tuesday 21 November 2023

Lost in translation. Parts 1 and 2

UPDATED (read to the end) 

Translations can be trap for the unwary, as China Eastern Airlines discovered this month.

The airline was at the centre of social media scorn after it was revealed that the English translation of its business class menu had an item listed as ‘imported dog food with okra’.

Oops. The mistranslation blunder left passengers baffled and the airline stupidly did not respond to media requests for an explanation - leaving itself open to further ridicule.

The menu listed several other items that were quite normal: grilled steak, a seafood stew, and stir-fried chicken.

But the menu also featured dubious dishes like 'corn dragon bone soup', ‘mushroom juice’ and ‘vanilla shrimp,’ Travel Mole reported.

Translation blunder followed by PR snafu. China Eastern might need some serious help. 

Then Steve McMeechan discovered an even worse translation faux pas - this time served up by a sweary Japanese hair care product (below).

As Steve pointed out: "It might just be me, but if I was a Japanese manufacturer of mass produced affordable hair products destined for overseas English-speaking markets that required instructions printed in English, I might think to myself - 'hey, maybe we should get someone who understands English to proofread the label before we go ahead and print a million of them'."

You have to wonder how many people they offended. And who hated them quite so much.   

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