When Arabic Translation Goes Wrong
The Arabic language is indeed an exceptional and special language! Firstly it is an authentic language not descendant from a group of languages, as the case of many European languages. The authenticity of the Arabic language is expressed through the great history of the ancient Arab civilizations, especially that, according to esoteric sciences a large number of its vocabulary is borrowed from Sanskrit, the initial comprehensive language. A language is known to be authentic, when the pronunciation of its words’ sound waves indicates the idea that lies behind the meaning of the word. This feature is only found in authentic languages, such as Arabic, ancient Chinese and Indian, all of which are derived from the Sanskrit language.
Moreover, in previous civilizations, Arabic translation has played an essential role in the transfer of ancient Greek knowledge and philosophy to the world. Indeed, by the 8th century, caliphs of the Abbasid dynasty commissioned Arabic translations of Greek scholarly works, keeping thus alive the eternal ideas of philosophers like Pythagoras, Socrates, Aristotle and Plato, at a time when Europe and the Byzantine Empire had almost forgotten about them.
Back to our current time, we find today that a simple translation mistake can destroy a whole business, beginning by losing its professionalism and credibility and eventually its customers.
On the other hand, it is true that translation in general may vary depending on the context of the source text. For instance, in scientific or technical contents, translation should be totally loyal to the source text. Nevertheless, in marketing translation, such as a tagline for example, creativity is required to convey the core meaning through catchy words that sell your business.
Therefore, translation can make or break any business. We’ll highlight hereafter, just for fun, some real Arabic and English translation or transliteration mistakes that some may seem hilarious, yet others are really pathetic.
“Crap” salad: No further comment!
A new tanker arrives on site in Qatar. The American Manager tells the local supervisor to ensure that the tanker is labeled in Arabic: “Diesel Fuel” and “No Smoking”. He surely got what he wanted!
Just Porn Fashion!
Such an exquisite menu!
An essential teaching material to enhance English proficiency including some riding tips!