Translation into English

This page gives examples of the difficulty of translating into English.

There is a detailed analysis of translation errors on another page in this section of the site.

Below are further examples of translations into English that have gone badly and ridiculously wrong. It is one thing when a sign in a campsite is poorly translated by the owner (as on the other page). But it is quite another when the bad translations are in the instructions booklet of one of the major companies in Germany.

The instructions, which advise how to adjust a new bicycle helmet to fit the head properly, are reproduced here with a sic and without comment.

  • Even helmets approved by norms and guidelines are no guarantee for being indestructible and excluding injuries.
  • It is absolute necessary that children take off their helmet before entering a children's playground.
  • Do not pull the helmet over the forehead for not reducing the visibility.
  • The forehead must be protected. Therefore do not push the helmet too far over the back of one's head.
  • .. helmets are available in two shell sizes, whereat the helmets of one size can be adjusted to the personal head size.
  • These different sizes refer to one's head size which can be measured by one width of a finger above the eyebrows.
  • In addition to the comfortable adjustment possibilities, the helmet fitting can by optimized by enclosed thicker extra pads.
  • Please take from the illustrations how to operate the system for horizontal and vertical adjustment of the head ring correctly.
  • Fit waistbands always properly.
  • While adjusting the lock which has to be closed at any rate before riding, please pay attention that it is not at the level of the jawbone.
  • 5. Correct handling and caring
  • Check helmet regularly against visible defects.
  • The adjustable head ring and the pads can be taken off and cleaned by hand (lukewarm water, soft clothes, cleaner without solvents).
  • Do not paint the helmet or put stickers on it, because the substances could reduce stability and protective features.
  • Never leave helmet behind panes, for examples in the car (effect of burning glass).
  • If the helmet was pushed strongly, the protective effect can be reduced relevantly even without any visible indication.