Everyone makes mistakes, it is only human but some mistakes are more of a problem than other mistakes. When translators make mistakes they could completely change the meaning of a text and even end up offending people and embarrassing themselves. This is why it is important to know how to fix them.
Yes, of course! We all make mistakes, including translators! Even though translators must complete thorough training and obtain many qualifications to become an accredited and certified translator, mistakes can happen and translators do sometimes make mistakes. Translation is a complex and demanding job which requires a lot of concentration and intelligence; this complexity is why translators make mistakes. Thankfully, because professional translators are so qualified mistakes happen very rarely and can normally be easily resolved. Translators must be fluent in both the original language and the target language; this helps prevent mistakes.
In other industries small mistakes can be accepted and do not have any bigger effects or consequences. However, with translating sometimes even the smallest mistake can change the meaning of an entire document. These errors can result in translators losing money and reputation.
Some mistakes are so small they are simply over looked, other mistakes can be hilarious, but some mistakes can have very serious consequences especially when the translations are for the political, business, and medical industries.
Translators must be fluent in both the original language and the target language; this helps prevent mistakes. But even with this and all of the training mistakes can happen, so what mistakes do happen and how do you fix it when translators make mistakes?
Translation mistakes are normally fixed and forgotten about however, there have been some mistakes made in the past which have gone down in history:
- KFC’s slogan ‘finger licking good’ became ‘bite your fingers off’ when translated into Japanese.
- Honda launched the car ‘Fiita’ in Sweden and Norway however ‘Fiita’ is a rude word in these countries (You can research this if you wish!)
- In Berlin, 2007, surgeons were performing knee joint replacement surgery by following a translated instruction manual. The original English instructions said the knee implants were “non-modular cemented” but the translation said “aszementfrie” which means ‘not requiring cement’. This surgery was completed of 47 patients and as you can image they were not successful surgeries.
- A Chinese sign saying ‘Safety warning’ was translated into ‘Beware of safety’
- In the cold war, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev made a speech directed to America trying to say ‘we will outlast you’ but it was interpreted to 2we will bury you”. This greatly escalated the war tensions.
So translation is very important and translators make mistakes which can have a huge impact. It is important to always use a qualified and accredited translator. Absolute Interpreting and Translations Ltd offer many translating services.