For some people translation may seem rather boring and monotonous work. However, there is a large number of curious facts associated with it.

 

  1. Some personages change their gender after translation

Originally, the character of Kipling’s famous Jungle Book Bagheera is a male, that is, a male panther. However, when translating, it was decided that we were talking about a female since the word “panther” has feminine gender. As a result, in Soviet cartoons, as well as in children’s books appeared a charming large cat which took care of Mowgli from early childhood. And today it is already difficult for many to imagine this story in a different way.

 

  1. Nuances of translation cost dearly

Sometimes the nuances of translation are very expensive. In 2009 the British bank HSBC decided to deal with the consequences of one the global financial crisis entering the international market. However, the translators reported that the slogan of the ongoing advertising campaign would have to be replaced. The thing is that the financial organization had the slogan Assume Nothing. It literally means: “We don’t assume anything”, that is, it indicated the bank’s confidence in its actions. However, when translated into some languages, the slogan turned into the statement “We do nothing”, which, of course, had a completely different effect.

 

  1. When it is confusing and scary

Khrushchev at the UN Assembly uttered the famous phrase: “I will show you Kuzkin’s mother!” Confused translators translated it literally (Kuzma’s mother). This is largely due to a phrase that was not typical for the political environment, with which experts were not familiar. As a result, the threat turned out to be incomprehensible and from this acquired a completely ominous connotation. Subsequently, it was used to name nuclear weapons in the USSR.

 

  1. There is something that unites us all

While working with languages translators often notice funny and interesting moments that often unite almost all people on the planet. For example, do you know that in almost all languages ​​of the world the word mother begins with the letter “M”?

 

  1. When the nuances of the translation must be considered in advance

Even the world’s giants face translation difficulties. For example, when creating a Nova machine, GeneralMotors was guided among other things by the Latin American market. And … suffered a crushing failure! And the point is far from the fact that the famous automobile concern released a low-quality model. Everything was in perfect order with the car! But if you translate its name into Spanish, its means “Unable to move” – ​​far from the best advertisement for such a product, you must admit.

 

  1. Poor translation led to the occurance of horned Moses

In Christianity, it is demons who are usually depicted horned, in short, demon spirits, this is clearly a symbol of evil. Then why did Michelangelo suddenly have Moses with horns?

As it turned out this entertaining story has to do with translation. According to a number of art historians it is all about the incorrect translation of the Bible. The fact is that the Book of Exodus says: when Moses came down from Mount Sinai carrying the tablets with him his face “shone”.

However, in this place in the Bible, the word “Koran” is used, which came from the root “krn-“. But from the same root also came a word meaning “horn.” That is, thanks to such a confusion, Moses got horns. The incident ultimately led to the occurrence of a very interesting statue which was also truly unique for Christianity.

 

  1. Two vodkas

There are a number of words that Russian language gave to the world. One of the international words is “vodka” or vodka in French, for example. This is a fairly well-known fact that not only translators have encountered. However, not everyone knows that in French there is another word: wodka. It means this strong drink originated from Poland. But vodka is a traditionally Russian product.

 

  1. Translation problems led to the presence of different rhinos

If you have ever been interested in rhinos, you should be aware that there are several varieties of them: black and white. However, in fact, animals can be, by the way, of any color. Such an error did not appear from scratch, but because the British colonists decided: the Dutch word wijd means white, that is, white. In fact, it is closer to wide, since this subspecies of the animal has a wide mouth. In a word, rhinos with a narrower mouth were eventually called black in order to preserve some logic.

 

  1. Untranslatable words

Each translator in his practice comes across words for which it is very difficult to find suitable analogues. An example is mamihlapinatapai in Yagan language. You can hardly find an exact analogue for it. Speaking roughly, we are talking about a situation where “people are looking at each other, hoping that the other side will propose to do what both want, but nobody intend to take the initiative.”

 

  1. The rarest languages ​​in the world

By the way, native speakers of the above mentioned Yagan language live in Chile. Rather, a speaker: at the moment, only one representative has survived. Yagan is one of many languages ​​that are becoming extinct today. And this is not a unique process. In particular, there are 45 such languages ​​in total. However, there are not so many of them within the total number (about 7000). In addition, scientists are still arguing about how many languages ​​are on Earth, and what exactly can be considered as such.

 

Translation can seem rather boring process. However, there are quite a lot of interesting things in it, especially if you take this activity with love. This is how our specialists work, as you can see for yourself – just become our client.