How to Get a Hilariously Stupid English-Chinese Translation
Like many native English speakers, you may have been impressed by the use of Chinglish - the name “PPStream,” the mean bank machine, "Fuk Hing Stationary," the “Nigger-brown" couch – there is so much creative Chinglish online for our entertainment!
How do Chinese and Japanese businesses produce such entertaining translations? Could you get an equally hilarious Chinese translation of your website or company name? As an English reader, you may not know that English is also sometimes translated into beautifully awkward and nonsensical Chinese.
Here are the top three ways to get a Chinese translation for your business that will rival the “idiot” tattoo that guy at the gym is always showing off.
Choose a translation company that has a ‘creative’ English translation of their own website. If they have the balls to bend English grammar to match Chinese grammar or even invent new English words to use on their own website, chances are they will be able to do the same for you! A quick Google search for "Chinese-English translation agency" gives us a mixed bag of results - some quite professional and others lacking. For example, I see one company with the tenet "Survival with quality, developing with good reputation and credit standing." I'm not sure what that means - looks like a winner!
Despite the poor websites of some translation companies, most of them should have quality control systems in place that result in decent translations. To get a translation that makes as little sense as possible, you'll want to avoid such quality control. You will have an even higher chance of getting a hilarious translation by posting a low-budget project on Scriptlance. Based on some Scriptlance projects I've seen, some Scriptlance users assume that professional translators with years of experience and education on-par with an engineer, lawyer or doctor (perhaps they are engineers or lawyers or doctors as well) are more than willing to translate their project for $2/hour. By posting on Scriptlance and keeping your budget nice and low, you might just be able to hire one of the translators that even the above translation agencies wouldn't hire! Did somebody say "score"?
But, let's be honest, even inexperienced and sloppy translators still possess human-level intelligence. If we want the funniest translation possible, we have to avoid all human intelligence. Hence we turn to Google Translate. Google translate and other machine translation tools are the kings of wacky translation! Let's test Google Translate out with some simple sentences.
Original English: "Capture her heart with this truly unique 14K white gold engagement ring."
Google's Chinese Translation: "捕捉这一真正独特的十四K白金订婚戒指，她的心。"
Meaning of Google's Translation: "Capture (this) truly unique fourteen-K white gold engagement ring, her heart."
Original English: "Are you going to be coming over to my place tonight?"
Google's Chinese Translation: "你是否会快要到我今晚发生的？"
Meaning of Google's Translation: "Do you quickly want come my evening occur?"
It's clear that Google Translate is rarely able to create sentences that make sense. It doesn't even work for simple sentences. We have a winner!