Seemingly small translation errors have big implications

Yet another reminder of why quality translation and interpretation are so important…Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche have published Found in Translation, which details how this profession touches everything from politics to pop stars.

Among the many stories in the book are some examples of how even seemingly small translation errors can have big consequences. This article details nine examples, two of which are quite comical.

Street Fighter II
In this Japanese video game, a character says, If you cannot overcome the Rising Dragon Punch, you cannot win!

The English translation for Rising Dragon ended up being Sheng Long, since the Japanese characters could have been interpreted different ways. Because the translator was working out of context, translating a list of phrases, it was thought (mistakenly) that a new person was being introduced to the game. As a result of this error, gamers spent countless hours trying to figure out who Sheng Long was and how they could defeat him!

President Carter

While on a trip to Poland in 1977, President Carter unknowingly said some awkward phrases through his interpreter. This is because the State Department had hired a Russian interpreter who knew Polish but was not a professional interpreter in that language. When I left the United States was turned into when I abandoned the United States and your desires for the future resulted in your lusts for the future.

These examples demonstrate the importance of using a high-quality translation and interpretation service provider. Argo’s network of linguists are experienced professionals whose native-level fluency in each language ensures that your message is properly conveyed.