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Translation Mistakes

Translation Mistakes

Translation mistakes


There are plenty of funny Translation Mistakes out there. You can find countless websites dedicated to pictures of funny Asian translations, which although amusing, got us thinking about the real implications bad translations have. They have the power to destroy brands, ruin business, and can even prove fatal in the case of medical mistranslations.

In England, people have come across some pretty amusing translation mistakes from Polish into English, just like Cock soup becoming a Tesco favourite. But in Poland, we’ve also had our fair share of cock-ups.

One of the most famous Polish translation mistakes to date has to be by the company Osram, who didn’t think to localize their name before entering the Polish market. However, they’re lucky that they’re doing really well on the Polish market.

The EU

Other such examples didn’t have such happy endings, though. After Poland entered into the EU back in 2004, the Polish translations were tendered off at such a low rate that the translations left a lot to be desired. Official institutions published hundreds of mistakes on their websites, and they can even be found today. This led to the Supreme Administrative Court of Poland making a complaint about the quality of the Polish language version of EU law.

Another such case was that of Covec, a Chinese company contracted to build a major highway in Poland, as they had the lowest price. It turned out that they wanted more money, so tried to renegotiate with Poland, who disagreed. Covec then tried to get out of paying a fine by blaming bad translations.

There are plenty other cases out there. The main bit of advice we have is go with a professional. As they say, if you think a quality translation is costly, wait until you see how much a bad translation costs you.

If you’re looking for help with Polish translations (or just wondering what Osram really means in Polish!) get in touch, and we’ll be happy to help.