Pathetic Mistranslations

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
In French, for example, we encounter phrases such as la directeur artistique or madame la directeur, where directrice would ordinarily be expected.
I know it's sometimes done, but to me at any rate things like "la directeur" sound a bit strange...
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
conciliandos.com

Conciliandos is what Google Translate gives you when you type "winning". It's probably due to some classical text in their database containing something like ad conciliandos (hos vel illos vel animos...) in the sense of "winning" people to your cause.
 

Ignis Umbra

Ignis Aeternus
Seriously?? :hysteric: (for an entirely different reason than originally intended...)
Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 8.14.08 PM.png
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
That's correct Latin, actually, although it doesn't use an imperative like the English but is saying literally "A sleeping dragon should never be tickled".
 

Ignis Umbra

Ignis Aeternus
Titillandus is a gerundive, right. I suppose I should have looked before I leapt... :doh:
 

Iohannes Aurum

Technicus Auxiliarius
It is not a mistranslation. JK Rowling actually knows Latin.
 

Cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
Especially when the correct version comes directly from the historical accounts...
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I don't know, but I imagine that, maybe, someone gave them the right version (Deus vult), but then they, or one of them, thought, "Wait... God wills it = three words; Deus vult = two words. One word is missing!" Then, they figured out that the "missing" word was "it", and then maybe they asked a machine for it and for some reason it fed them Italian/Spanish...
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Oooh! I was imagining the pope had said it in Latin (as I'd heard it elsewhere), and didn't at all consider it might have been intended here as some old Romance language. But apparently it's even a motto in that form. I apologize then and bow the documentary makers' superior knowledge.
 

Iohannes Aurum

Technicus Auxiliarius

Iohannes Aurum

Technicus Auxiliarius

Iohannes Aurum

Technicus Auxiliarius
How can companies with annual marketing budgets of over one hundred million dollars put bad Latin? They could extremely easily afford good Latin translators. Even Nintendo, with a more modest marketing budget, has access to good Latin translators.

Is it me or is it that since the late 2000s, Japanese video game developers actually bothered with checking to make sure their Latin is good?
 

Laurentius

Man of Culture
How can companies with annual marketing budgets of over one hundred million dollars put bad Latin? They could extremely easily afford good Latin translators. Even Nintendo, with a more modest marketing budget, has access to good Latin translators.

Is it me or is it that since the late 2000s, Japanese video game developers actually bothered with checking to make sure their Latin is good?
Perhaps they ask people who are actually supposed to know Latin. Once they get their translation, they are not able to tell if it is good or not.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
Perhaps I'm being cynical, but why would they care if the games sell? It might even work in their favour – if a translation is so bad as to be funny, it might feature in some list that may go viral, bringing the game to the attention of a wider public. Free advertising.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
How can companies with annual marketing budgets of over one hundred million dollars put bad Latin? They could extremely easily afford good Latin translators.
My observations of big companies in China, a sizeable number of which are guilty of commissioning and using (very publicly) bad translations into English when they could certainly afford better, tells me that in the minds of many big business people the question whether one translation is better than another either doesn't arise, or is not considered important in their business model. Businesses run by people with linguistic training probably tend to produce better translations than those run by non-linguists. Software companies are probably underpopulated at all levels by people with any appreciable linguistic education.
 
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