The Mistranslations in This Campaign Are So Bad, They're Brilliant

Print Ads Remind People of the Need for Professional Translators

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One small pleasure of visiting China is spotting funny mistranslations on menus, billboards and t-shirts. It's always nice that someone made the effort, but menu items sometimes get translated in ways that are baffling ("The old Soviet Union to help smoked fish") or a little scary ("Husband and wife lung slice").

Signposts can be intriguing ("Garden with curled poo"). And you might be taken aback by signs in the grocery aisles ("F*ck the miscellaneous food").

J. Walter Thompson Shanghai collected some of the best examples and put them to use in a campaign for ElaN Languages, a business translation service and school based in Belgium; the ad agency's Amsterdam office also pitched in on the idea. The best mistranslations were wrapped into an amusing print campaign for China. The tagline is simple: "Get it right."

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May 02, 2017
JWT Shanghai
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