Lost in Translation – or Omitted from Translation Dictionaries?

I stumbled on the Lost in Translation site some time before, but found myself back there the other day. I tried various snippets from my blog (sometimes edited to simplify) – most of it turned into garbage after being translated in and out of English multiple times, but the best results were as follows:

Original English text:
Sharky died of kidney failure in January.

Translated back from Portuguese:
Sharky is died to landslide of kidney in January.

Original English text:
Maybe it even masks the real tinnitus, which to many people is just the scream of a wasp (description courtesy of my mother).

Translated back from Japanese:
Perhaps that covers tinnitus of the substance which is exactly the scream of the sparrow drumstick (courtesy of description of my mother) to many people.

Original English text:
We finally got inside and looked out, and the slush was belting down in the gathering darkness.

Translated back from French:
We finally obtained inside and looked at outside, and the slush girdled downwards in the supercilious darkness.

Something that occurred to me when studying the translations of the phrase about tinnitus (this turned into mush as well) was that there was a translation of tinnitus into French, but no translation of it back into English, so you ended up with this:

Perhaps it masks even the true acouphène, which with much of people is right the cry boring of a wasp (courtesy of description of my mother).

After that, of course, none of the other language translators could handle it, as acouphène wasn’t recognized as an English word.

Lots of words get missed in that way, and whatever snippet you put in ends up being a mishmash of untranslated words from different languages, but of course I had to take this particular omission personally… laughs at self. (I’m at a loss with no smilicons here).

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One response

  1. […] bookmarks tagged languages Lost in Translation – or Omitted from Translation … saved by 2 others     Infamouschris1 bookmarked on 02/06/08 | […]

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