“Exceptional Abuser”

(The alcohol that abuses you right back!)

Austria’s professional interpreters’ association Universitas awards an annual prize for the worst translation in the media and such. The prize is called the “Übelsetzung”, which is a word play on Übersetzung (translation) and übel (bad). This year’s prize goes to the sparkling wine maker Schlumberger, for a three-bottle set labeled “Der außergewöhnlicher Verführer”, which means the The Exceptional Seducer, which is awkward enough — some things just don’t translate well literally.
Except that it gets worse, because the folks at Schlumberger, trying to be helpful, put the phrase in English translation right underneath and called it The Exceptional Abuser.
“This was clearly an attempt to cut costs in the wrong place,” said Dagmar Jenner, Secretary General of the association. The translation, even if correct, “would have not worked convincingly. This is a job for language professionals, who would have formulated the English version to convey the meaning of the original.”

Artikel in deutscher Sprache

h/t to reader KGB

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Exceptional Abuser”

  1. Becca says:

    Check out the website engrish.com, if you have not yet. Some classic mis-translations

  2. Marcellina says:

    I think I even blogged about them a while back. Great stuff!

  3. It gets even worse! A spokesperson of Schlumberger called me to complain about the award. He actually went on to tell me that they had known about this translation mistake for months, but had decided to sell the remaining stock anyway. They probably thought it’s “just” language and nobody would notice. Very surprising, especially coming from a respectable company.

  4. Marcellina says:

    Good grief! Thank you for the update.

Comments are closed.