Mistranslation - Be careful the safe

Be Careful The Safe

Translating from one language to another is truly a difficult job, especially if you are not a native speaker. While authorities think that they are helping foreign visitors who only speak English to their country, sometimes it is more difficult to understand the actual meaning of the translation than the original itself.

Take a look at the image. It is such a breathtaking view, taken from one of the peaks of Hua Shan, a 7,000-foot mountain in Huayin, province of Shaanxi in China. With clouds covering the distant peaks, and the cliff edge, visitors would already be wary of the many dangers getting too close to the edge would pose. Still, it is a noble effort, because the presence of a sign already alerts people. “No Jumping” is correct and very easy to understand. Maybe the top sentence should be “Be Careful and Stay Safe,” or “Be Careful and Stay on the Safe Side.” We believe that the words “no jumping” and “be careful” are enough warnings for people to be mindful of where they are, if they have reached the sign, so there is no need to “crack” the safe.

Image credit: Taken by Ben Beiske

Fair Use Disclaimer: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit, to those who have expressed a prior interest in participating in a community of individuals interested in our methodologies, for comment and nonprofit educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107. If you, as a member of the community, wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.