Bad English (Not just a 90's rock band)
(Not just a 90's rock band)
How important is an accurate translation? Ask yourself, "How important is it to get my idea across?" For me, one of the most frustrating things is to be misunderstood or not to be able to express myself clearly. The result seems to be as effective as trying to dig a hole in the sand.
I have a tendency to pause in mid-sentence, and many times the person I'm talking with will try to finish my thought. Why do I do that? I'm trying to choose the right word to best express my thought. Having a background of being a teacher/preacher, I've discovered how much work it is to try to correct a misunderstanding compared to avoiding the misunderstanding in the first place. So, to save time and energy, I choose my words carefully. But, I do think that by the listener actively trying to help me finish my thoughts, they end up understanding more of what I'm saying than if I just came out and said it!
I see misinterpreted statements all over the place. It's very clear when someone relied on a website or software to do the translating for them, or they just pulled out a bilingual dictionary and did it themselves. I'm talking about big name businesses, too! Sometimes it can come out comical, but other times it can be offensive - which is normally not a good tactic for promoting a product.
An international airlines wanted to advertise the fact that their first class seats were made of leather. So, they used the slogan "Fly in leather". In their Spanish ads, they translated that slogan into "Vuela en cuero", which actually means to fly naked! Although it may make going through security quicker, I believe the majority may feel uncomfortable about flying with no clothes on.
In an Italian restaurant, where we have eaten, at the entrance is a sign explaining what to do if someone is interested in working at the restaurant. Part of the instructions was to, "Fill out a simple application". They also had the same sign in Spanish, and they translated that phrase as, "Llena esta simple aplicación". Yes, in both Spanish and English, there is the word "simple", but they do not mean the same thing. In English, the word "simple" means "easy", but in Spanish the word "simple" has more of the connotation of being simple minded; dumb. So, what a Spanish reader would understand is that they are to fill out some dumb application if they want work there. This was not just a local restaurant.