Mistranslations

The truth about notorious mistranslations.

Successful translation of material from one language to another is a difficult and tricky undertaking, and many well-known (even if apocryphal) translation failures are legendary.

White bullet Early attempts at computer text translation produced hilarious results.

Red bullet The John Steinbeck novel The Grapes of Wrath was translated into Japanese as Angry Raisins.

Red bullet Cinderella's slippers were made of fur in the original versions of the fairy tale, but they became glass slippers in later versions as the result of a mistranslation.

White bullet Mistranslation at the United Nations results in humorous statement.

White bullet During World War II, the Germans passed up a chance to kill FDR because they mistranslated the name of the city Casablanca as "White House."

Red bullet A misinterpretation of Napoleon's complaint about his cough resulted in the unintended slaying of 1,200 prisoners.

Yellow bullet The name of Melbourne, Australia's annual Moomba Festival was taken from a derogatory Aboriginal term.

Red bullet President Kennedy called himself a jelly donut in his famous 1963 speech in Berlin, Germany.

Red bullet The Peanuts comic strip was renamed Radishes in some international newspapers because locals were not familiar with real peanuts.


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