Adam Wooten">

Top 10 translation blunders

Published: Friday, Dec. 23 2011 8:11 a.m. MST

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Last week, we reviewed some of the top intercultural blunders of 2011. Throughout the year, many businesses and governments have also learned the hard way that translation errors can be costly and incredibly embarrassing. Perhaps translation missteps were destined to fill the year — in Vietnam, 2011 is the Year of the Cat, not the year of the Rabbit like elsewhere in Asia, and some allege that the discrepancy is the result of an old translation error. Consequently, some might call this the year of mistranslation.

Like the top intercultural blunders of 2011, most of these linguistic missteps are cringeworthy, and a few are humorous. All are good reminders to take appropriate precautions when working in another language. Hopefully, a little extra care will help make 2012 a year of great translation successes!

In no particular order, here is my list of the Top 10 translation blunders of 2011, together with honorable mention of a few similar gaffes from elsewhere in the world that did not make the list.

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
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