May Friday Funnies – Horny Moses

As we all enter the Memorial Day weekend and the beginning of a normalized summer, let’s have some laughs and a history lesson!

2018 was the Year of the Woman in Mexico.  National Public Radio (NPR), reported on the large number of women who were running for elected office and tweeted “Some Mexicans are calling 2018 ‘el ano de la mujer,’” That translated to ‘the anus of the woman’ rather than ‘el año de la mujer’, ‘the year of the woman’. The mistranslated AÑO – “year” as ANO – “anus”… wasn’t exactly a compliment to all those candidates!

St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators, spent years revising the Latin Bible from Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.  While undertaking this project he mistranslated a critical word that described Moses descending Mt. Sinai.  He misread the word “keren” (horned) and used that translation rather than the correct word “karan” (holy radiance).  The mistake of a horned Moses remained in multiple translations for centuries and even in Michelangelo’s sculpture.

Walmart Canada was party to an embarrassing mistake in 2018 when an ad for a plus-size women’s swimsuit on their website described it as “Suitable for beach, seaside, hot spring, etc. Made of high-class material, soft and skin-friendly.  Best choice for fat girls to spend hot Summer”. Walmart claimed the mistranslation was made by a third party vendor and issued an apology.  Social media was not quick to accept their explanation and sales dropped nationwide.

If your company serves multilingual customers or employees, translation errors can be embarrassing, costly and can create a long-lasting, negative impression of your business.  Auerbach International’s mission is to help your firm navigate the complicated world of linguistics in print, online and in the spoken word.  With mastery of 120 languages, we undertake projects of any complexity, complete them swiftly, and always with personalized service and our professional commitment to you, our clients. Give us a call or visit us online.

Enjoy!

 

Chris Hempel

Director of Client Success

Auerbach International

415-592-0042 x125

818-445-4451 (mobile)

415-592-0043 (fax)

chris@auerbach-intl.com

www.auerbach-intl.com

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *