Tag Archives: translating

Butt roll-on with fox scent

I’ve been doing some translating work on beauty products this week and thought I would share with you how tricky it can be at times.

This particular company has a translating system that already uses a program with a few mistakes I have to correct. Sometimes it’s close and sometimes I get things like this:

“This perfume has scents of lavender, daffodil and fox.”

or

“Nike Butt roll-on for the active man!”

Honestly, it says ‘But roll-on’ because “men” in Swedish is “but,” however, it’s hard not to read the product as a roll-on for butts every time I see it. New idea for a product? You heard it here first!

buttrollon.jpgfox.jpg

A magical word

“förnämliga”

That is the word I had to translate the other day (I work part-time translating documents from Swedish to English).

As you see, it can have vastly different meanings.  I suppose I was supposed to see which one fit in the sentence, though none of them really did.

Here’s my sentence:

There are ______ instructions.

There are wizard instructions?

There are topping instructions?

There are swell instructions?

I guess the last one makes the most sense – if I’m dealing with a document from a kid writing in the 1950s.

Sometimes Swedish can be hard.

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News of the Weird

I picked up the Swedish paper this morning and had to ask myself, why is there a train full of virgins going to Moscow? After careful reading I finally realized that the report was about a train’s virgin voyage to Moscow. News is more interesting when I mis-translate.

Earlier in the week I was confused by the news report about problems with Christmas wolves.   First of all I didn’t know we had Christmas wolves here and second, what is the problem?  Are they stealing pies?  Knocking over snowmen?  What is the difference between regular wolves and Christmas wolves?  After all of this thought, I was informed that the word was not wolves (vargar) but roads (vägar).

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