Inaccurate localization can cause problems

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/01/17 03:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/01/17/513418.aspx


It's true -- inaccurate localization can cause all sorts of problems.

Take this street sign in North Wales:

(the Welsh sentence below can be translated into the English sentence 'PEDESTRIANS LOOK LEFT')

You can read about it here.

And maybe after that you can do something nice for your localizer. :-)

(via Ben Karas)

 

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# -tom on 17 Jan 2006 3:11 AM:

Having read the BBC article, I now understand!

Perhaps your own localisation needs checking, for in fact the welsh in the sign can only be translated into the English "PEDESTRIANS LOOK LEFT"!

Or was that a deliberate mistake?! ;)

-tom

# Jon Ballinger on 17 Jan 2006 3:28 AM:

Actually the welsh says look left I believe. :p

# Michael S. Kaplan on 17 Jan 2006 3:44 AM:

Sorry, that was a mistake on my part. It was not deliberate (I am not the clever!).

# Bevan on 17 Jan 2006 3:44 AM:

Shouldn't that read

"(the Welsh sentence below can be translated into the English sentence 'PEDESTRIANS LOOK *LEFT*')"

Seems more broken that way. :-)

# Ben Bryant on 17 Jan 2006 5:48 AM:

Is it possible it was translated between Welsh and US-English instead of UK-English where traffic drives on the opposite side of the road and thus the pedestrians must look the other way?

It is like when you display the same time in different time zones, it is intentionally changed to appease the locale.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 17 Jan 2006 11:20 AM:

Hi Ben -- Talk about OVER-localization! :-)

# Mihai on 17 Jan 2006 12:32 PM:

Here is a full site dedicated to bad translation: http://www.engrish.com

# Dean Harding on 17 Jan 2006 5:05 PM:

It's political control of a language gone mad! The Welsh government is secretly trying to remove all the non-Welsh-speaking people from their country by having them all killed off in road accidents. A consipiracy, I tell you!!

referenced by

2012/09/06 yuavtxhawbpabraukojsawv yuavntxivzograukoj mus {my first thought? I'm loving it!}

2008/04/04 Fight the Future? (#2 of ??), aka Spot the Bug(s)!

2008/02/21 We're back and we're embarrassing ourselves? (aka Making your localizer's life easier, Part 2)

2008/02/13 Canada isn't Kannada, ay (ಎ)?

2006/09/22 Inaccurate localization can make you bust out laughing

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