Lost in Translation: Some Funny Translations That Will Make Your Day


It isn’t easy to write in another language. Of course, before you test your language skills on a business sign, you should probably double-check its accuracy! Here are just a few funny translation errors from around the world.

1. Happy Family In Hot Casserole

Some of these menu items look delicious, including “sizzling squid” and “prawns with mixed vegetables.” You’d have to be brave, however, to order the “happy family in hot casserole” for $10.50.

2. Hand Grenade

This sign was found in China, and it’s a translation failure on multiple levels. For starters, the proper term for fire extinguisher is “miè huǒ tǒng,” and this one uses “miè huǒ píng.” There’s also incorrect English on top of it: “HAND GRENADE.” Talk about a bad thing to add to a fire!

3. Could Not Connect to Translator Service

This sign proves the need for a good translation service. If you aren’t able to log on their website, you might wind up putting an error message on a big banner outside of your building!

4. Slip Carefully

Anyone can slip and fall, but it takes true talent to slip carefully. You can’t wave your arms around and shout. You must have dignity as you land on your rear end.

5. Only A Few of the Dead

“Only a few of the dead were buried carelessly in a discarded storage pit. They were probably dead not normally.”

The scariest thing is that we’re not sure what this sign was actually trying to say.

6. A Nice Electric Shock

Most electric shocks are frightening and painful. If you go into this constriction zone, however, you’ll get a “nice” electric shock. Maybe it’ll tingle in your toes? Maybe it will clean out your sinuses?

7. Execution in Progress

This sign was clearly meant to say something like “construction work ahead,” but the message got lost in translation. The good news is that “execution in progress” will definitely stop people in their tracks, so if the sign is meant to warn others away, it’ll still accomplish its goal.

8. Eating Carpet Strictly Prohibited

The actual Hindi text says, “Sitting and eating on the carpet is prohibited.” However, it’s much more fun to imagine the carpet-chewing airport guests who made this sign necessary.

9. Paul Is Dead

This Arabic hotel only meant to advertise its meatballs. How it became a cheerful little sign declaring “Paul is dead” is a mystery, but we’re sure that it caused some surprise among people trying to enjoy their complementary meal.

10. Whatever

Last but not least, when you just don’t care about life anymore, you can always go to this restaurant and order a hot plate of “whatever.” It might not be as tasty as the kumquat with lemon, but it will reflect your mood a little more!

These are just a few goofy translations from around the world. As you can see, it doesn’t matter where you live or what you’re advertising. Translation mistakes can happen to anyone!

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