Thursday, August 2, 2012

At Great Expense

By way of comp.risks comes a mention of the dangers of trusting too much in on-line translations. The producers of a BBC comedy Episodes needed a headstone in Hebrew and English for a funeral scene. Somebody entered the English text into Google Translate, and dutifully copied the Hebrew letters out. Unfortunately, Google Translate had rendered them into the left-to-right order of English, rather than the right-to-left order of Hebrew. This means, it is said, that what should convey "dearly missed" instead says "pickled at great expense". According to The Guardian this has greatly entertained Israeli audiences that might never have heard of the show; Haaretz certainly seems amused.

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