After running across some fairly amusing examples of what one man has termed “Chinglish” (that is, signs or labels that have been translated into English, usually poorly), I decided to see whether translation software may have been at fault. So, I popped into Google, found their free translator, and translated some English phrases likely to be found on signs.
First, I translated “Wet paint. Please do not sit on the bench” into Chinese. I then switched the mode to “Chinese to English,” and re-translated it. What did I get? “Wet paint Please do not have to become judge.” Hmm…I think I may have located the culprit.
I decided to try one more, the relatively common phrase “Keep out of reach of children.” When translated back into English, the result was “Stays out of a matter to achieve the child.”
What is the moral of this brief story? Don’t rely on electronic translation…