Translation Bloopers: Another Risk from Ramada Hotel

Courtesy of the Language Log

Victor Mair says: “At first I was puzzled by why the Ramada Hotel Hangzhou would want to put its customers at risk, but it only took a few seconds before I realized what must have happened.  Where the sign has yòu y? jù xiàn ???? (“another great offering”), the person who was tasked with rendering the sign into English must have entered you yi ju xian, not paying attention to the tones, and what came out was yòu y? jù xi?n ? ??? (“another great danger / risk”).  Admittedly, if you drink too much at Oktoberfest, you might put yourself at risk, but I don’t think that’s what the Ramada management had in mind.”

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