Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Translator needed

Here in Canada, all products must be labeled in both French and English. That is the law. Unfortunately, some companies do not hire competant translators, (or the tranlators let one slip). I have seen a list or two of translation errors (meant to be humourous) but came across the one of the worst translation mistakes I have seen yet, not so much because it doesn't make sense, but because it actually changes the original meaning and could be potentially dangerous (for a stupid person).

Found on an aerosol can of PLAID® Patricia Nimrock® Clear Acrylic Sealer:

In English: Keep out of reach of children. Use only in well-ventilated area. Keep away from flames, such as pilot light, and any object that sparks such as electric motor. Store away from heat.

In French: Tenir hors de la portée des enfants. N'utiliser que dans flammes, telle une flamme pilote et de tout objet produisant des étincelles, tel un moteur électrique. Conserver loin des sources de chaleur.

This basically translates to:
Keep out of reach of children. Use only in flames, such as pilot light, and any object that sparks such as electric motor. Store away from heat.

What seems to have happened here, is that a whole line of text basically got cut out, which would not be the translator's fault. It starts to say "use only in well-ventilated area", but someone cut out the "well-ventilated area" and "Keep away from..." and pasted "Use only in..." and "flames" together. Luckily, the "Store away from heat" bit was left in. And it is written elsewhere (in both French and English) that the contents and fumes could catch fire. So only a really stupid person would actually use this product only in flames. Ha ha.