Translation and Language Industry Observations

Argentina’s national team did very well and reached the World Cup final with a convincing 3-0 win over Croatia, the reigning runners-up to the world champion. Led by captain Lionel Messi, Argentina’s win was never in doubt. In celebration of the win, team Argentina tweeted a post in several languages to announce their ascent to the world’s biggest sports event.

Unfortunately for Argentina, they decided to use machine translation (MT) for the tweet. The Hebrew text was mistranslated to ืื ื—ื ื• ื’ืžื•ืจื™ื, which translates to WE ARE FINISHED in English. Which is the exact opposite of what they wanted to say.

This is yet another example of a funny translation which makes the publisher (team Argentina in this case) look foolish.

There is a lesson in this for everyone. Don’t rely on MT for anything important. If you do use MT, give it to a professional linguist for review before using it in a public forum.


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