How to (not) do Translation

Just for fun (and a good example of why literal “translation” doesn’t work and isn’t translation at all), I give you a page from the (un)helpful-yet-entertaining instructions that came with a travel alarm my wife bought yesterday:

So the question I must ask you is:

Have you output your beep voice yet?


About Bill Davis

Writer, speaker and translation and language learning consultant. I write technical articles, poetry and humor, and I am working on my first novel which is set on the island of Palawan in the Philippines.
This entry was posted in Humor, Translation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How to (not) do Translation

  1. I love translation errors like this. I guess it just shows you that Google Translate isn’t always right 😉

    • Bill Davis says:

      For sure. Language is much too complicated for that to work well outside of the most predictable kind of utterances. But I look at it this way… that instruction sheet provided more entertainment than some movies, and inspired a blog post and (ALMOST) got us more response on Facebook than when our granddaughter was born. Thanks for commenting!

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