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Thread: Poorly translated instructions

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Crazy Poorly translated instructions

    I picked up an inexpensive cable tester today. Some of the warnings on the package are comical (and in some cases indecipherable):

    * Forbid to use for cable with electric current (Ok, I understand this one - don't use it on a live cable.)

    * Do not use it beyond usage. - Huh?

    * Do not change it on your mind. - Honest, it really says that!


  2. #2

    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    Well if you changed it on your mind, they'd have to bill you for it all over again. And they don't even know where you are. That wouldn't do, now would it?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    * Do not use it beyond usage *
    Look it's not a spoon so do not try to use it as a spoon.

    * Do not change it on your mind *
    Perhaps a reference to some kind of ESP sheilding??
    All changes must be made by hand manually: not mind control?
    Just a guess
    Topper

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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    Welcome to the world of manufacturing in China. Many of the companies that import goods from China do not bother with localizing the documentation and just go with whatever the manufacturer (the Chinese one) supplies, and no doubt some of the Chinese manufacturers probably just use one of the online translation engines (like Babelfish or Google) to translate the instructions into English, and the person who runs it through probably only has a limited knowledge of English.

    While it's not quite as bad, you may even get instructions that are similarly difficult to understand from countries where English is an "official" but not a primary language (e.g. India and Singapore). More established companies, selling higher ticket items, may employ native speakers (or US based tech writers) to re-write the instructions so that the product presents a more pleasant image to the consumer.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    I still say Miracle Blades "Do not stick knife in children" is the best translation screw up to date...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    Why? I'm not familiar with this product; is it marketed to psychopaths who prey on children?

    Quote Originally Posted by borax
    I still say Miracle Blades "Do not stick knife in children" is the best translation screw up to date...

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    "Read This First" by Dave Barry

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* James S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    We've all seen the stickers on things that suggest to us that there are "no user serviceable parts inside" but all the modules and things I've bought from X10.com in the last few years have just said "no serviceable parts inside" which I thought was rather a negative reflection on their confidence in their products...

    Then there was this on the first printing of these candies that I thought was funny...



    though I doubt that is a translation error, it's still funny
    -James

    E=sqrt((mc^2)^2+(pc)^2)

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by James S
    We've all seen the stickers on things that suggest to us that there are "no user serviceable parts inside" but all the modules and things I've bought from X10.com in the last few years have just said "no serviceable parts inside" which I thought was rather a negative reflection on their confidence in their products...
    I can think of some things that appplies to

  10. #10

    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    When I read "do not change it on your mind" I immediately thought "don't use it on your head."


    Got Biodiesel?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    I'm in agreement with Topper that it must be some kind of warning about using the ESP interface. It's probably susceptible to ESD, EMF and RFI.

    Another little gem from the instructions, shown verbatim:

    It is special cable tester. Don't connect it with computer. HUB& other machine.

    Ahh yes, the other machine... those are always trouble.
    Last edited by PhotonWrangler; 09-24-2006 at 06:49 PM.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* yuandrew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    In the instructions for my power inverter, the introduction starts with "This power inverter series are the member of the most abvanced (SIC) line of mobile AC power supplies avaliable. This model has a wide range of application including remote homes, RVs, Campers, and boats.

    To get the most, it must be installed properly and used. Please read the insturctions before installation and usage."

    Then there's this long run on sentence "Caution; loose connections will result in excessive voltage drop and may cause overheating wires and melting insulation or reverse polarity connection will blow the fuse or damage the inverter. Damage from reverse polarity connection is not covered by warranty."

    The rest is somewhat understandable.


    Ok, where did I put the manuel for my portable DVD player ?

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    I was reading through a service manual for a studio camera once. When I got to the section about the built-in color bar generator, I noticed that there was a connector labeled "color bra."

  14. #14
    Flashaholic schrenz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by Brighteyez
    Welcome to the world of manufacturing in China. Many of the companies that import goods from China do not bother with localizing the documentation and just go with whatever the manufacturer (the Chinese one) supplies, and no doubt some of the Chinese manufacturers probably just use one of the online translation engines (like Babelfish or Google) to translate the instructions into English, and the person who runs it through probably only has a limited knowledge of English.
    ....
    Even more surreal are instructions, which are first translated from Chinese in English and after this in another language (in my case German) and all this is done with babelfish or google.
    So the instructions of a cheap toaster can be funnier than a late-night-show
    Sureholic ===<|
    "mehr Licht" (J.W.v.Goethe 1832)
    "more light"

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* James S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    though the site seems to be more interested in street signs and such, there are some wonderful examples of clever translations at:

    http://www.engrish.com/
    -James

    E=sqrt((mc^2)^2+(pc)^2)

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Planterz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions


  17. #17

    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by James S
    That is not fanny.
    Last edited by nekomane; 09-25-2006 at 08:05 AM. Reason: spelling

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    Sometimes the computers make the problems up themselves. I snapped a screenshot of this a few years ago now. It's a little Dell add insertion on slate.com and unfortunately, the title was a little too long and was truncated automatically at just the right point to make me spit coffee over the monitor that morning...

    Though it would hardly qualify as PG13, I would be setting a bad example for a moderator if I just pasted it into this message. So instead I'll tell you to not click here if you think you might be offended by a clever truncation of the word "assistant" i wonder how long it ran like that and how much Dell paid them to sell it...
    -James

    E=sqrt((mc^2)^2+(pc)^2)

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Cornkid's Avatar
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    Crackup Re: Poorly translated instructions

    LOL
    Surefire E1L / E2L(with custom Tritium vial installed ) ; Surefire G2 + Kl3 + Beamshaper ; Surefire L2 ; Inova X5t ; Surefire L1 (edc); Fenix L1d

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* atm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler
    * Do not change it on your mind.
    You can't say you haven't been warned; a tinfoil hat is definately advisable.
    Andrew

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    The professionals that do translation (e.g. Berlitz) also use similar software rather than translating it manually, and then go back to correct the bad grammar or misinterpretations. Sometimes one gets by the localization specialists (translators,) or is disregarded if they lack the technical knowledge to know that it is incorrect. As I often review some of these translations, I can assure you that sometimes the translation is merely from English to German and it still get's botched up. But then I remember a high school French teacher telling her students that "the reason students have a problem with the grammar in French is because they don't know it in English." (She taught both English and French)

    Quote Originally Posted by schrenz
    Even more surreal are instructions, which are first translated from Chinese in English and after this in another language (in my case German) and all this is done with babelfish or google.
    So the instructions of a cheap toaster can be funnier than a late-night-show

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* yuandrew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    Hot Glue Gun



    It's supposed to be spelled u-s-i-n-g !

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    Have a wax tadpole and a smile (the difficulties in translating some languages)...

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by atm
    You can't say you haven't been warned; a tinfoil hat is definately advisable.
    Yikes! I knew I forgot something!
    Veni vidi velcro

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    I'm not so sure that one isn't right as it is written. If both the nozzle and the glue melted, it may very well result in some product liability litigation

    Quote Originally Posted by yuandrew
    Hot Glue Gun



    It's supposed to be spelled u-s-i-n-g !

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    On a related note, one of my cousins had a husband (had, as in past tense, for reasons that will become obvious once you see his choice of gifts for his wife), who for a Christmas present, bought her a laundry basket (I told you he was quite a catch, right?). So, here we are, on a Christmas Eve some 40 years ago, reading the assembly instructions, and this is EXACTLY as they were written...

    Step 1: Put frame A into slot B.

    Step 2: But before putting frame A into slot B...

    No wonder some people drink heavily at the holidays.
    "Show them a light, and they'll follow it anywhere..."

  27. #27
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    Some languages are read from right to left. Maybe that one is read from bottom to top!

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* yuandrew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    Ok, I made this up with Bablefish and translated it to Chinese Simplified then back to English. Try to guess what the instructions mean.

    Phazer III Luxeon K2 LED flashlight
    Phaser today is a series of most goes forward the LED flashlight. This flashlight take is 50 brighter normals 5 milimeter LEDs and 4x brightly compared to incandescent bulbed flashlight similar size Luxeon K2 as characteristic LED. This flashlight will move in the biggest bright 2 hours in a set of AA battery and in the low bright 16 hours.

    Battery Installation:
    The installment or replaces the battery, the flip flashlight base and gets down according to the battery cover ribbed part. A slide battery cover inch then launch. Installs 4 AA estimate battery according to by to indicate + and - the symbol in the battery cover. The placement battery cover and the terminal overlap an inch however 后滑 upward flashlight rear area to click until it arrives.

    We recommend the Rayovac brand battery for the best performance and the running time

    Use Flashlight:
    Slippery switch from now on to hope bright level. The first position is most reduces or "idly spends the" way. Next and the third position is medium and high way each one. The beam gathers by clockwise rotation half turn for the spot or counterclockwise is possibly a flood.

    Use Momentary:
    This flashlight possibly by slippery winks the eye or short and uses the switch to fall behind from off position. The switch will seize returns to "off." When issues in this position.

    When the battery is reduces, this flashlight automatically exchanges joins to the lowest establishment or "moon" way reguardless the switch position.

    Careful:
    Prevented the battery explodes or leaks off, do not have to install the battery backwardness or do not have to mix old and the new battery.
    Do not invest the battery in mouth.
    Luxeon K2 LED is extreamly bright! Do not shine the flashlight in the eye.
    Maintains the flashlight to go from the child. This is a high performance lighting attachment tool, is not the toy.
    Always removes the battery when depleated or when is not uses the flashlight for a more ratios month. Perhaps the battery leaks off damages the flashlight.

    Waranty:
    CPF will guarantee this product opposition all slight defect five years period from purchase primitive date. By the guarantee including the battery, the electric lamp bulb, has misused by the user, has abused, either revised LEDs, either product.

    CPF Corporation
    www.candlepowerforums.com

    China Make
    Last edited by yuandrew; 09-26-2006 at 12:37 AM.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* elgarak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    On a side note, I feel sorry for the poor souls that have to translate manuals.

    A few years back, my family got a great deal on a compact camera. They wanted it to give as a gift to some relatives. The problem: The instructions were only in English, the relatives were older chaps speaking only German. So they got me to translate the damn thing . It was awful, even for someone fluent in both languages. I DO NOT want to do that for a living .

  30. #30
    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poorly translated instructions

    bought a made in china heatgun for heat shrink apps...

    the first line under warning.

    "Use not as hair dryer"

    thought its funny

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