Classic Translation Blunders (That’ll Make You Cringe)

Bag Target Man Montreal Translation SyllabusYou’re at your desk, leisurely sipping your morning cup of joe, thinking how great it is that you’ve finally made it through the stack of files on your desk. You’re all caught up and you can take a few minutes to simply enjoy a moment of peace. . . . When the bleep of a new message wakes you from your reverie: “Where’s my translation?”

“Translation” you say to yourself. “Uh oh! That translation! Was it due . . . today?” You click through your emails and sure enough, it was.

More translation blunders that’ll bring a tear to your eye if you’ve been there:

• Translating all the highlighted text when, in fact, you were supposed to translate all the non-highlighted text (ahem).

• Accepting a translation job without opening the document first. You’re in for a big surprise!

• Spilling coffee on your hard drive. When was the last time you backed up your client files?

• Attempting to perform a late-night “replace the existing file” maneuver—but in the wrong direction. Say good night to your project!

• Sending a quote to a client about an editing project with a spelling mistake in the subject line. Nice work. They’ll definitely write back.

• Accepting a translation project for Thursday (They meant next Thursday, right? Not tomorrow. . .) and discovering that pulling an all-nighter as an adult is not as easy as it was when you were in uni.

How about you—what’s your biggest translation blunder?

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