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Translation Bloopers

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MACHINE TRANSLATIONS

“Gion,” the name of Japanese festival, was misrecognized as “beyond.” Undeterred, the system produced the translation, “Does the tour go to the beyond?”

The name “Rob Malkin” when pronounced in Japanese as “Robu Marukin,” was analyzed by the speech recognizer as “rokumaruchin,” which means “six japanese spaniels.”

“Queen size bed” was translated into French as “lit aux dimensions de la reine,” which means “bed the size of the queen.”

“Thank you very much” was mistakenly broken up into two parts “thank you” and “very much.” This was translated into Japanese as “Arigatoo gozaimasu. Takai desu,” which means “Thank you. It’s expensive.”

“The sequence of numbers “1 2 3” was translated as “2:59,” which was a mystery until we noticed the misrecognition of “1 2 3” as “one to three.” Our system analyzed this as “ONE minute TO THREE o’clock.”

A new way to get discount airfares?
“There is a Lufthansa flight at four forty pm” was misrecognized as “there’s a Lufthansa flight bed for forty yen,” producing the translation: “A Lufthansa Airlines flight will be available. That is 40 yen.” (Analysis skipped the word “bed.”)

Note for interns only:
“What else do the tours include?” was misrecognized as “What else do the tours Clinton?” Thanks to an all-inclusive list of airports worldwide, this was translated as “A tour will be from Clinton, Oklahoma.” (Analysis skipped the words “what else do” and parsed “the tours Clinton.”)

Translation still has a long way to go:
“May I be of further assistance?” was misrecognized as “maybe further assistance,” and then translated as “That is far.” Analysis skipped the word “assistance” and parsed “maybe further” as a distance.

When Americans pronounce names from other languages:
The name “Mister Blanchon” was misrecognized as “mustard where shall.” The city “Osaka” was misrecognized as “Los Tokyo,” which translated as “Lagos, Nigeria and Tokyo” thanks to a list of airport names (LOS is the standard airport abbreviation for Lagos).

When Americans pronounce their own names:
The name “Chad Langley” was misrecognized as “Chet white wine.” “Chad” has also been misrecognized as “Chad Kim,” “Chad Noh,” “Kent,” “Kang,” and “Kato.” “This is Alon” was misrecognized as “this is the lodge,” “this is the london,” “this is a lot” and “the salon.” “Thank you very much” was misrecognized as “thank you for lunch,” leading to the translation, “Thank you. You will be travelling to go to a lunch.” The system interpreted “for lunch” as the purpose of the trip.

 

HUMAN TRANSLATIONS

In a Czech tourist agency:
Take one hour horse-driven carriage. We garantee no miscarriages.

In a Zurich hotel:
Because of the impropriety of the entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.

In a Bangkok temple:
It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.

In a Norwegian cocktail lounge:
Ladies are requested not to have children in a bar.

On the door of a Moskow hotel room:
If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it.

Two signs at the entrance of a Majorcan shop:
English well speaking. Here speeching American.

In the office of an Italian doctor in Rome:
Specialist in women and other diseases.

On the menu of a Polish restaurant:
Salad a firm’s own make; Limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rashers beaten up in the country people’s fashion.

In a Bangkok dry cleaners:
Drop your trousers here for best results.

Outside a Paris boutique:
Dresses for street walking.

From the Soviet Weekly:
There will be a Moscow Exhibition of Arts by 150.000 Soviet Republic painters and sculptors. These were executed over the past two years.

In a Rome laundry:
Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.

In a Paris hotel elevator:
Please leave your values at the front desk.

A sign posted somewhere in Germany’s Black Forest:
It is strictly forbidden on our Black Forest camping site that cople of defferent sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for thet purpose.

On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:
Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.

In the lobby of a hotel facing a Russian Orthodox monastery:
You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists and writers are buried daily except Thursdays.

In a Tokyo based hotel:
Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to do such a thing is please not to read notis.

Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop:
Ladies may have a fit upstairs.