With more machine translation services online, it’s natural that you may want to plug your translation project into an online system. After all, the process seems quicker, easier, and less expensive than hiring a Language Service Provider.

However, the results can be misguided at best and dismal at worst. While there is a lot to be said about how far machine translation services have come and how much they have to offer, they still produce translation errors. These errors can stem from a lack of cultural understanding to simply mistranslating the grammar conventions accurately into another language.

With that said, sometimes the Avantpage Team comes across machine translation errors that we can’t help but share. Here is a selection of our favorite mistranslations from around the web.

1. Don’t forget to vacuum while showering?Italian translation fail for “For a proper service, please turn on the exhaust fan when using the shower. Thank you.”

This informational message makes perfect sense when read in Italian, but something got lost in its translation to English. The original message in Italian is “For a proper service, please turn on the exhaust fan when using the shower. Thank you.” That makes much more sense than turning on the vacuum!


2. Love the earth

English translation fail for "please take care of the plants"

While the English text is an excellent reminder to be loving, it’s quite a departure from the original text’s meaning. The two other languages on the sign, Japanese and Chinese, state “Please take care of the plants.”


3. Zip, nada, nothing

Spanish translation fail for "It is forbidden to throw nothing down the toilet"

While this translation fail is more minor than the others, it’s still notable! The original Spanish text says “It is forbidden to throw ANYTHING down the toilet.” The translation and the original text are complete opposites. It’s no wonder how this could get confusing!


4. The right stuff

Russian translation fail for "staff only"

Another minor translation fail, the original text in Russian means “staff only,” rather than the translated English which says “stuff only.” Even the smallest of translation errors can create big problems!


5. Not so egg-cellent

Finally, in recent events, these Olympic Chefs accidentally ordered 15,000 eggs!

These Olympic Chefs from Norway were trying to ensure they could keep the Norwegian  Olympic Athletes well-fed, but ended up with enough eggs to feed ten times the amount of athletes!

They wanted to order 1,500 eggs from a local grocery store but accidentally ordered 15,000 after using Google Translate to help them make the order.

No matter what you’re using machine translation services for, you don’t want to end up with errors like these. To learn more about how we at Avantpage can prevent these kinds of translation errors from happening, contact us today! We will ensure the accuracy of your translation project, so you’ll have nothing to worry about!

At Avantpage our experienced team can help guide you through the translation process and make it fast and easy. To find out more about our services call us at 530-750-2040 x11 or request a free quote.