Do They Really Eat Lawyers in France?

Few can  fail to be amused, horrified or puzzled by the vast array of mistranslated menus, hotel signs, public notices and similar material found when travelling.

Well no, it doesn’t really mean what it says. Despite the sign, local motorists are an orderly bunch.

Its gotten infinitely worse since Internet machine translation became ubiquitous  (thanks Google)!  So much so that at least one disillusioned Facebooker has now made an annotated collection of literal faux pas, many of which contributed by sharp-eyed friends.

Below are a few samples republished here with due acknowledgements and thanks.
(H/T to the “Keene as mustard” website)

No monkey business please


Bad translation? It works both ways — poor Poles!


Bit of Cheesy Baker then?

Speechless? Must be a sight worth seeing

Snow lasts? Surely for skiers the problem begins when it doesn’t.

Do they really eat lawyers in France?


Now if you’re a professional in business and in need of  human rather than machine translation, the writer would like to declare an interest and point you gently to the following website for some high value, reasonably priced help.

  • Here is a podcast from discussing some of the issues in translation and the way technology and machines both hinder and help the process:

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4 Responses to Do They Really Eat Lawyers in France?

  1. Daisy de Plume March 9, 2013 at 8:10 am

    great post!I do love my lawyers with vinaigrette.
    It goes the other way round too of course. When I first moved here I used to say “Je suis chaude” as I’d take my sweater off – not in the lease meaning to sex anyone up!

  2. admin March 9, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Indeed it does Daisy and pitfalls are legion as any speaker of English gingerly trying to find their feet in French knows!

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