Hi everyone,

No, I’m not proposing just another “bad/funny translations” list. What I’d like to know is whether you know of any weird/comical situations that came about while translating or interpreting.

Here’s a little story to start us off:

A (Spanish) friend of mine runs a hotel which has a fabulous restaurant with good food, a nice atmosphere (including background music, of course) and friendly service. My friend enjoys getting to know his guests and will often have a good chat with diners who want to know more about the local cuisine.

One day he had a couple of English-speaking diners in the restaurant who enquired about the ingredients of a certain dish. His English is not perfect and he got stuck when it came to translating berenjena. He uttered a ” Manuelesque” (- for those who remember Fawlty Towers- ) “Sorry. One moment, please” and dashed off to the computer to consult Google Translate. Whilst he was there, he decided to check on the pronunciation too. Once satisfied that he could articulate “aubergine” as well as any native, he confidently returned to the dining-room only to find all the diners in fits of laughter.

The piped music of the restaurant had been connected to the computer system he used and when he consulted Google, “AUBERGINE” had boomed out through the loudspeakers half a dozen times!

Now it’s up to you.  I’m looking forward to hearing your anecdotes in English or Spanish.