Translation Bloopers: Translate Server Error

In translation, to err is not necessarily human. While there are many examples of translation errors caused by human translators, these pale in comparison with the errors of machine translation. And when an erring human combines with an erring machine, an amazing thing happens: the translation takes on a life of its own and the end result turns out to have no relation to the source text. In China, for example, a restaurateur eager to attract an international clientele decided to display the restaurant’s name on the storefront in English as well as Chinese. Alas, since he spoke no English himself, he had no way of knowing that the machine translation application he chose to perform the task was not working at the moment, and his restaurant now proudly bears the English name “Translate server error.”

Jiri Stejskal
CETRA Language Solutions