Nauseating translations

In a highly engaging puff-piece from MailOnline, “hilarious mistranslations”

chocolate pukeof food items on menus, most from East Asian countries, have been exposed. As I routinely work with translation students, I’ve had my share of belly laughs often induced by Google Translate (even though it is becoming eerily accurate). These translations might also turn your stomach.

Among the highlights are:

  • nausea sauce pork
  • smell of urine mixed with dried
  • half grilled chicken and herpes
  • crap eggs with bamboo flavor
  • saliva of a chicken product; and for dessert,
  • chocolate puke.

Students at the University of Queensland routinely analyze Albert Amgar’s translations of Food Safety Infosheets into French and practice back-translation into English to check Ben’s awesome grammatical powers. Just for giggles, I plugged the last Infosheet into Google Translate, converted to German then to French and then back to English. The result was mostly intelligible except for bits like this:


• Don’t handle food while ill; especially if you have symptoms like diarrhea (when transmission is likely) or vomiting (as virus particles may be spread to hands, clothes and other surfaces).


• Do not handle food when they are sick, especially if you symptoms such as diarrhea (if Transmission is likely), or vomiting (such as viral particles can be divided between his hands, clothing and other surfaces).

For now my job is safe.

stir-fried wikipedia