Funny translation from Chinese to English

Translation gone wrong!

We have all seen them: the funny translations from Chinese to English. Let’s have a look at some of them today and figure out where the translation comes from!



This mistake occurs quite often. 干 means dried, therefore it occurs quite often in food, as in dried vegetables or dried meat or dried fruit. However, it is also a slang word for … well, you see it above.

Here are other examples:



Considering that you cannot even take your deodorant on the train or metro in China, and now they even check your water bottles from time to time this sign is pretty disturbing and hilarious!

The explanation for this creepy mistranslation lies in 灭 which means “extinguish/put out” but can also mean “destroy or wipe out”. And wipe someone out with a “fire bottle” is quite different to “put out a fire with a bottle”.



This is a very common mistake in translation as well. 小心 means “be careful” but is very often used in a context as to be careful NOT to do something even though in Chinese there is no need for this “not.” Hence, this sentence means, “be careful not so slip and fall”.



有害 does mean “harmful” and while harmful can also mean evil, however evil is mostly an adjective which describes living things and not rubbish.



一次 means one time性 in this context means nature or property用品 is product.  Therefore, it means that this is a product with a onetime usage nature. The problem arose when 性 was taken for 性别 which means “sex” as in different gender. Chinese tend to use only one character of a word when combined with another word.



This mistake seems to pop up often as well. 民族 means ethnic group. Often used for the minorities in China – there about more than 50! I imagine that these mistakes happen because ethnic group and race are so close to each other meaning wise.



Literally the translation that the construction is in progress. As the English verb “to execute” can also be used in the meaning of “carry out” the usage here of “execution” is understandable. I guess they did not consider what else execution is used for…



While most commonly 留下 means to leave behind, it can also mean “keep” or “remain”. So, what they wanted to say here is: Preserve the virtue of civilization and leave with good memories. These kind of signs are very common in parks or mountains reminding people to not litter or be loud or make fires. They are made in a way that it sounds nice and poetic… often though the English translation is not understandable or… would actually not preserve the cultural virtues in China like in this case.

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