Mayans

Mayans

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Perils of Translation

The picture below was sent to me by my friend Alejandro.

Translation from one language to another can be a risky business.  On the Pope's recent visit to Cuba, someone wanted to make a welcome banner in English.  Unfortunately the Spanish word for Pope... "Papa"... also has a completely different meaning... potato.  The result of the well-intentioned but botched translation is seen below.

(photo from the web)

 
 
Update:
 
One of my former students did a bit of investigating and discovered that the picture had been "photoshopped".
 
Oh, well, it still points out how easy it is to make a translation blunder.


7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hi Joan!
      Yes, I had to laugh when I saw this. As a former Spanish teacher, I know the pitfalls of translation. In fact I would spend a week with my advanced classes on how to use the Spanish-English dictionary so as to avoid such gaffes.
      ¡Saludos!

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  2. This is awesome. I'll be sharing it on Facebook....

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  3. Scratch that. While looking online, I just found out that the sign in the original image was Photoshopped.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear that. Darn! But it still points of the perils of translation.

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  4. This was very funny, even with the update. Thanks for sharing, I got a good giggle first thing in the AM, which is always good.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where, upon looking up an English word in the Spanish/English dictionary, we always then look up the translation the other way, just to be sure.

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    Replies
    1. Glad to have provided a giggle.
      That's a good technique for choosing the correct word from the dictionary. Also, sometimes the correct word in Spanish will be a cognate of a related word in English... thus providing a clue. For my students it helped them expand their English vocabulary as well.
      ¡Saludos!

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