Now, I’ve friends who aren’t exactly the most proficient translators. An example in mind would be when a friend (whom I’ll nickname the Big D) once translated the term ‘Book‘ (verb) to ‘Shu Ben‘ (the noun) in Chinese.
If you can’t imagine how ludicrous that sounds, here’s a scenario:
*You walk into a hotel lobby*
You: 你好，我想书本一间房。(Hi, I would like to book (noun) a room)
Receptionist: Huh? Smlj-
Yeah, you get the gist.
Nevertheless, I can safely say that even Big D here, who’s pretty much at the bottom of the barrel in the translation department, can do a better job than the local MRT station translators.
As proof, check this piece of translation out. Keep in mind that it’s an actual public announcement in a local MRT station, and fully intended to inform each and every one of the commuters passing by the station.
Translation gone wrong
If you (who has the literal literary prowess of Big D) aren’t able to see the mistake here, allow me to break it down to you.
So, the information they wish to impart is this: TOP UP UNAVAILABLE HERE.
The Chinese translation, however, becomes this: NO TIDYING UP HERE.
Kinda wrong, isn’t it?
(Since you’re here, subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more informative videos lah)
The latter part isn’t any better either.
English: SMALL CHANGE UNAVAILABLE HERE.
Chinese: SMALL CORRECTIONS AREN’T ALLOWED HERE.
Incidentally, Google Translate interprets it as follows:
Well, guess we solved the mystery here. There was never any official translator for the site.
It was all Mr Google Translate.
Which is kinda questionable, seeing how Mr Google Translate isn’t the brightest in translation classes.
And wait, there’s more.
Apparently, the Indian language used on the notice paper is Hindi. And according to a comment, “Hindi is not their (our) official language.”
And let’s not even question why the Malay language isn’t there.
I’m not here to start a war.
Gotta buck up
Look, Google Translate might be useful for getting the briefest of points across, but it’s not exactly the kind of tool you want to use when printing a notice that will be viewed by hundreds, if not thousands of people daily.
Heck, just see what I mean:
Translation: NO TIDYING UP HERE.
Translation: NO USAGE HERE.
Even the simple act of capping the letters changes the sentence!
So buck up, ol’ MRT stations. People rely on information to get by, and wrong info’s only bound to get one into trouble. My advice?
Stop using Google Translate and just ask your own employees.
Trust me; it’ll work out a whole lot better.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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