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Japanese to English Mistranslation Can Be Hilarious – Check It Out!

Japanese to English Mistranslation Can Be Hilarious – Check It Out!
Japanese to English Mistranslations
(Last Updated On: September 4, 2020)

The internet has made a lot of things easier for us. One of them is access to entertainment content. Even if someone cannot go to the cinema, they can subscribe to a streaming service and watch movies and TV shows from the comfort of their homes. People in India can become huge followers of an American series. Due to globalization, the fans of Japanese Anime can be found all over the world. The animated movies made in Japan are also very famous everywhere. This has given the fashion industry an opportunity. They can sell merchandise all over the world to make money. However, this mingling of cultures has created one problem, and that’s mistranslations.

Japanese to English Mistranslations Can Be Hilarious – Check it Out!

As long as qualified experts are hired to do the job, translations will always be accurate. But a lot of companies don’t realize how complicated languages can be. They think they can get help from online tools like Google Translate to communicate with their foreign audience. Some companies assign the task of translation to their bilingual employees. They fail to realize that learning a second language is not the same as knowing one’s native tongue. As a result, a lot of cultural aspects get ignored during the process of translation.

A lot of Japanese companies wish to attract English speaking audiences. But they forget that they would need the help of linguistic experts to accomplish that goal. This is why we often come across mistranslations. Here are some of the funniest Japanese to English mistranslations:

English Mistranslations

What this sign meant to say should be clear to anyone reading it. But nevertheless, the translation is hilarious. Instead of saying, ‘be careful! Slippery slope!’ it says ‘slip carefully.’ It is one of the sings that you see tourists taking pictures with because they find it so funny and they want to share it with the internet. Although the intention behind putting this sign was noble, nobody thought to check the English translation before putting it up, so now it is a meme for the internet.

Japan burns its garbage regularly. There are bins everywhere in which people can throw their garbage for burning. However, this sign might make people think that the garbage inside the trash can is flammable and will start burning on its own. What the sign should say, however, is ‘put garbage for burning.’ But if someone is familiar with Japan’s city life, they won’t have trouble figuring out the sign, despite its weird English translation.

A lot of tourists love to go for a ride in one of the many steam-powered trains of Japan. This sign was put up to warn people about the loud sound of the steam whistle. But where it should have said that make sure your children’s ears are covered, it says that their ears should be stopped. Since tourists know that there is no way to stop an ear, they will figure out what the sign is trying to say. But that doesn’t make the translation any less funny.

This is another sign for tourists. It instructs them to leave the chair in their position and keep the table clean during dining, but instead, it ended up writing dying. This is quite hilarious because it is just this one word that is completely wrong. The rest of the translation makes sense. The dying will give everyone a good chuckle.

Japanese Mistranslations

If you have ever called wrapping paper, rapping paper as a joke, then you will like this mistranslation a lot. It almost looks like it was made by a person who is familiar with the meme. The sign is most likely from the outside of a stationery shop that sells wrapping paper. But the missing ‘w’ does not change a lot in the word, and it is still understandable.

This sign most likely wanted to say that there are English menus, so feel free to shop, but it got the translation all mixed up. The simplicity of the mistakes is what makes them so funny, even if they didn’t keep tourists from shopping there.

A certain area was under construction for the day, so this sign was put up to keep visitors away from it. However, the English translation makes it sound like the day is under construction. Now it sounds more like someone having trouble starting their day and sending this message to their boss.

This is another sign about a slippery surface with the wrong translation. Instead of saying ‘beware of slippery floor/slope,’ it simply says ‘beware of slippy.’ Despite getting the message across, it is still a funny mistranslation. This is why it has made it to our list of hilarious Japanese to English mistranslations.

A lot of people in Japan cannot speak or understand English. But since the country receives millions of tourists every year, businesses have to put up signs to welcome the foreigners. Some of them get the help of Google to find the translation, while others turn to their bilingual employee. This is why mistranslations have become so common in Japan because no company bothers to hire qualified experts for the job. When they don’t hire linguistic experts, they get results that end up on the internet for being too funny. But since bad publicity is still publicity, the businesses in Japan have not changed their tactics. Many of them continue to put up signs with funny translations and still get foreign customers regularly.

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