This technique, often employed by people who believe that paying for translation services would be a waste of their time, money and undeniable talent, is also known among the experts as “taking a stab in the dark”, “rolling the dice” and “talking gibberish”.
The basic hypothesis this widespread technique is based on is that hiring professionals to do the job that you or your co-worker can do in half the time and twice as much money saved is not something a wise businessman would do. This is similar to the belief that if you already know where your spleen is and you have a knife and a medical handbook the doctor is just an unnecessary luxury reserved for those not daring enough to believe in their own abilities. In both cases, mutilation is the only possible outcome.
Knowing that the logic behind this approach is as shaky as the hands of the self proclaimed doctors, it is not surprising that the surgeons hacking away at the spleen of language have at least created an abundance of amusing proof against their hypothesis. For instance, a sign in a Japanese hotel room that reads: You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid. Or an unsettling warning in a tailor shop: Order your summer suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.
Now, poor language skills and unwillingness to hire people who actually know what they are doing will not always lead to charges for prostitution or mass murder but they will without fail make you look unprofessional or even ridiculous, like this promise in a Swiss menu did for that restaurant: Our wines leave you nothing to hope for. After reading something like that and seeing how seriously the people in the restaurant are taking their job you would probably be a bit reluctant to risk ordering something (especially the wine), but not nearly as reluctant as you would be ordering water in the hotel in Acapulco that informed its customers that: The manager has personally passed all the water served here.
It is important to remember that these practices are not worth the time or the money saved, the reputation of the business will suffer because of a mistranslation (doesn’t matter how hilarious or amusing it might be) much more than it would if the translation was never attempted. A prestigious restaurant would do much better if it served no wine than if it served it corked. A diseased spleen is better left alone than picked with a knife by someone intoxicated with bad wine. Someone might argue that a metaphor is better left unmade than mixed with another one and made into a jumble of surgical horror, and if someone indeed insists on arguing that, then that someone is welcome to write an article about it.
Prevedi.rs - not being a laughing stock since 2011.
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