Global Lingo Blog

Malaysian Ministry learn their lesson… in translation

It seems the Malaysian Ministry of Defence could do with taking some advice when it comes to translation. The Ministry has been put in the limelight for its mis-translated and comical content in English which has now been taken down.

Machine translation strikes again

Supposedly composed using Google Translate, the mis-translated website included advice for women such as avoiding  “clothes that poke eye”, which has been deduced to mean ‘Revealing clothing’.

This embarrassing blunder has not gone unnoticed by Malaysian nationals who quickly began circulating the comedic material around the web. With such a vast population, many of whom speak fluent English, this mis-translation isn’t acceptable. The Ministry receives a large budget every year and it seems prioritising it wasn’t done very effectively.

“We have corrected the mistakes and translations are no longer done that way. It is now done manually,” Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told The Star daily.

When taking a second look at the website now however, it seems that all translations have simply not been included with the statement “There are no translations available” appearing regularly across the site.

With this case in point, one could deduce a simple lesson from this story… don’t use Google Translate for important translations!

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