48 Translations Fails and Why We Can’t Help but To Love Them
There’s a reason why we love what we do and why professional translation services exist, and why we cannot help to raise a very high eyebrow when we hear the words, “Don’t worry, I Google- translated it…”. Oh, dear.
So, nothing gives us more joy to look at some of the funniest translation fails across the globe, including the times when translators are doing their jobs, but completely missing the mark.
These are hilarious translation mistakes that display the best of Engrish, Spanglish, mistranslations from Chinese and Hindi, and so many other colourful and amusing translations, gone wrong.
Top Translation Fails You Won’t Believe
Funny Google Translate Fails
1. It sounds like the goat is being blamed for bad budgeting.
Description: Google translation fail 1.
2. Clearly, it’s just not tasty!
Description: Google translation fail 2.
3. We have not heard of this particular Persian spice.
Description: Google translation fail 3.
4. Hannibal may be pleased with this one.
Description: Google translation fail 4.
5. Did you mistake your DNA sequence for Somali again? Happens to the best of us.
Description: Google translation fail 5.
6. Great desserts require a sacrifice!
Description: Google translation fail 6.
7. Guess we know who wears the pants here. It was supposed to say that she is on maternity leave now.
Description: Google translation fail 7.
8. Youtuber, Random Týpek, also found a few golden Google translate fails here.
Description: Google translation fail 8.
Hilarious Sign Translation Mistakes
1. Nothing else is required. Just your hands.
Description: Sign fail 1
2. Perhaps this was reverse psychology?
Description: Sign fail 2
3. It may not be the parking machine we deserve, but it’s a parking machine we need.
Description: Sign fail 3
4. The ultimate comeback in a petty fight.
Description: Sign fail 4
5. Those are some funny looking flamingos you got there.
Description: Sign fail 5
6. If Yoda worked in your office… let the problem, use you.
Description: Sign fail 6
7. Villains need to cut their hair too, you know.
Description: Sign fail 7
8. “Janet! The passengers are eating the carpet again!?”
Description: Sign fail 8
Funniest T-shirt Translations
1. Because doors are open to new experiences.
Description: Funny T-shirt fail 1
2. When you clearly like one child more than the other…
Description: Funny T-shirt fail 2
3. But prefer beer above all else.
Description: Funny T-shirt fail 3
4. We suspect the person who wrote this may have had too much THC.
Description: Funny T-shirt fail 4
5. When you reach a new level of hipster.
Description: Funny T-shirt fail 5
6. And he sure looks proud of it.
Description: Funny T-shirt fail 6
7. When the so-called ‘official’ Lord of the Rings merchandise looks a little sus.
Description: Funny T-shirt fail 7
8. There are no words to describe this translation fail on a T-shirt. Yet, we really want it.
Description: Funny T-shirt fail 8
Amusing Google Translate Memes
1. A risky venture indeed.
Description: Translation meme 1
2. That fleeting moment of victory when you thought you have unlocked the secret weapon to ace your language subjects.
Description: Translation meme 2
3. Not sure if AI can write it better?
Description: Translation meme 3
4. To Google translate or not to Google translate, that is the question.
Description: Translation meme 4
5. Ah grammar, who would have thought that it would remain an important factor when translating copy.
Description: Translation meme 5
6. One for all the language teachers, our sympathy is with you.
Description: Translation meme 6
7. Some things are better left untranslated.
Description: Translation meme 7
8. For all the Grand Tour lovers, Hammond, Clark and May have also had their fair share of hilarious translation fails.
Description: Translation meme 8
Advertising Translations Gone Wrong
1. Fun fact, the Spanish expression, “No Va” means “It won’t go”. So, when General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, the company had to quickly rethink their marketing campaign to make up for this unfortunate name.
Description: Ad Translation Fail 1
2. Do you remember the “Got milk” ads? Well, it didn’t translate so well for Latino audiences as the closest translation was “Are you lactating?”. Oops.
Description: Ad Translation Fail 2
3. Perhaps not an advert or marketing fail, but a very close call for Mercedes-Benz when they entered the Chinese market under the brand name “Bensi,” which means “rush to die”, yikes.
Description: Ad Translation Fail 3
4. An Iranian company Paxam, sells different consumer goods, including a laundry soap known as “Snow”. In Farsi, they call it ‘snow’ in their marketing campaigns, but a mistranslation had the labels reading ‘barf.’
Description: Ad Translation Fail 4
5. From Nokia to Schweppes, WatchMojo has also listed their favourite 10 epic advertising translation fails.
Description: Ad Translation Fail 5
6. What was supposed to be a play on words for speed (fährt), unfortunately translated to ‘FARTFULL’.
Description: Ad Translation Fail 6
7. Typically, the visual of a stork delivering a baby is expected and welcomed on baby products, however, be careful of key cultural differences. This is a factor often missed when a brand translates their marketing.
According to the Arizona State University, when Procter & Gamble launched Pampers diapers in Japan, they printed on the packaging the typical image of a stork delivering a baby, but the product did not perform very well. After research, the company found that customers were confused by the image of the stork with a baby. In Japan, the story goes that giant floating peaches bring babies to their parents.
Description: Ad Translation Fail 7
8. We can see how this one happened, but still, it’s hilarious to think this was greenlit by KFC before double checking the translation.
Description: Ad Translation Fail 8
Unbelievable Menu Translation Mistakes
1. Would you like to order one “Sausage and father-in-law”? Graham Norton explores a few favourite Asian dish translation fails.
Description: Menu fail 1
2. Can we have the smallpox on the side please?
Description: Menu fail 2
3. We estimate there is something fishy about this menu.
Description: Menu fail 3
4. ‘Fried eel Technology’ – Because robots need to eat too.
Description: Menu fail 4
5. Lamps, best served cold.
Description: Menu fail 5
6. A key ingredient – coconut humans, mmm.
Description: Menu fail 6
7. Those two-timing dishes!
Description: Menu fail 7
8. The number of human references in these menus are becoming worrisome.
Description: Menu fail 8
If these epic translation fails do not heed a warning as to why it is imperative to consider a professional translator, we may see you on our next list – just kidding.
However, we are more than happy to be your professional translating partners before you go live with a translated piece. Get a free quote today.