Translation can be dangerous in some situations!!  You probably don’t agree with that but it is fine because you’ve never faced a situation like that. Ok! Try to translate the Spanish word “Zorra” into English which is “Fox”, but you have to be careful if the text you are translating is about a woman. Do you know why? Because what’s a compliment in English can be an insult in Spanish. Yes, an insult because “A fox” when describing a woman in English is a compliment, however, in Spanish this word has another connotation which means a wicked woman.

Here are 15 hidden insults only experienced translators can avoid:

1. Une vache espagnole (French)
Literally: A Spanish cow.
Means: Someone who speaks French with a poor accent.
2. Se te fueron las cabras al monte (Mexican Spanish)
Literally: Your goats have gone to the mountain.
Means: you’ve gone crazy.
3. anasının gözü (Turkish)
Literally: their mother’s eyes.
Means: the person is cunning.
4. Я тебе покажу где раки зимуют (Russian)
Literally: I’ll show you where crayfish hibernate.
Means: I’ll teach you a lesson.
5. Vollkoffer (German)
Literally: full suitcase.
Means: stupid.
6. Tog (Danish)
Literally: Train.
Means: Idiot.
7. 豆腐の角に頭をぶつけて死ね (Japanese)
Literally: Go hit your head on a corner of tofu and die.
Means: complete idiots.
8. Twmffat (Welsh)
Literally: funnel.
Means: idiot.
9. Gey kakken oifen yam (Yiddish)
Literally: Go take a poop in the sea.
Means: Go to hell.
10. Estás mandando fruta (Argentine Spanish)
Literally: You’re sending fruit.
Means: You’re talking nonsense.
11. Casse-toi (French)
Literally: Go break yourself.
Means: Get lost.
12. Nicht alle Tassen im Schrank haben (German)
Literally: To not have all the cups in the cupboard.
Means: To be a bit of an idiot.
13. Gey strashe di gen (Yiddish)
Literally: Go threaten geese.
Means: You don’t scare me.
14. A Mongol (French-Canadian)
Literally: a native or inhabitant of Mongolia.
Means: Someone who is intellectually, genetically, and fundamentally retarded.
15. Anjing (Indonesian)
Literally: Dog.
Means: scum.

Believe it or not! Some of these horrible mistakes in translation accrued on TV. Therefore, translation requires more knowledge and experience. It is never a normal job any bilingual person can do.

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