Lost in translation

In tonight’s post, I’m going to stray–ever so slightly–from the subject of grammar.  I will, however, keep the topic within the realm of the English language.  I invite you to join me as I laugh mercilessly at an advertisement for a vest.

In high school, I studied French for three years.  I’m all too familiar with the frustration of translation; therefore, I understand that imperfect translations are bound to happen:

Chinese to English: could be worse…

But there’s a big difference between an imperfect translation and downright gibberish.  (Click to enlarge.)

Korean to English: ouch, my brain!


Wait, I’m not finished laughing.


Because I have firsthand experience with trying to speak a language I hardly know, I can’t justify criticizing this awful translation.  However, that doesn’t mean I won’t laugh my ass off every time I read it.


6 thoughts on “Lost in translation

  1. I see things like that sometimes in technical material. Often very funny. Apparently many Asian languages don’t translate well to English. Dialog translations of Chinese films often add a whole level amusement!

  2. Years ago I was a temporary hostess at a Chinese restaurant. One night after closing, the bartender and waiters helped me celebrate my birthday. They gave me a really big card with pretty flowers on the cover and sang Happy Birthday to me in broken English. The best part was opening the card which read “To My Wife on Her Birthday!” Couldn’t fault them for trying!

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