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If you ever need an example of how not to translate your website, look no further than sochi.ru because it’s a good’un! It will make you laugh, and keep you amused for as long as you wish to spend time there. Spelling mistakes, made up words, nonsensical descriptions and downright bad use of language. Cultural nuances? Forget it.
Yes, sochi.ru takes bad translation to another level. Read through the merchandising pages for example, and wonder at exactly how they achieved such bad English. Goodness, this is not even down to machine translation. This is machine translation and bad translators all in one. We all know machine translation’s sentence structure can be a bit questionable, but it doesn’t make spelling mistakes – or make up words. Used with respect, machine translation is powerful translation technology. Put it in the wrong hands, add in an unprofessional translator and your brand is doomed. It is a wonder to me why you would stake your country’s reputation in such hands…but I guess it’s no surprise.
As you go through and laugh at the bloopers and creativity, check out what you are saying to yourself. I am a potential customer, and I’m thinking; “Oh my, it’s typical of Russia” or “what do you expect”, “they have no idea”, “this is crap”, “oh this is ridiculous”. I guess you will be thinking similar things. As are an estimated 2 million other daily sochi.ru visitors, and rising. Russia’s reputation is hanging. The global damage that can be caused to a company’s reputation, let alone a country’s, in just one reading, is immeasurable.
Check through a few merchandise pages and it won’t be long before you spot some corkers!
Here are a just a few of my favourites:
1) Organizer: “Fill it with the most useful items, along with your baby…”
2) Mug: “Foamy, grape, nonalcoholic and juicy – try in a new mug”
3) Raincoat: “…ensure your fidget’s maximum comfort”