Interpretation and translation errors

Other Names:
Translator errors

Problems in translation and interpretation can arise from: insufficient knowledge of one of the languages involved; insufficient knowledge of the subject involved; lack of examples in dictionaries of how specific terms are used; attempted word for word translation; lack of knowledge or understanding of multiple meanings or shades of meaning; ignorance of current usage and "double-entendre". The repercussions of mistranslations range from an amusing faux pas amongst friends; to lost poetic and literary power in the translation of foreign literature; to serious, but unintentional, diplomatic insults.


A sign in an Italian dry cleaner's shop reads 'Drop your trousers here for the best results'. A European woman insisted that a dress be make from a sign hanging in a store in Singapore which said in characters 'Cheap goods inside'.

Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST