Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The word "Chinese" translated incorrectly...into Chinese

A large technology provider recently revised one of its English language websites, on which it offered the following options for Japanese, Korean, and (simplified) Chinese:

Read this note in: 日本語 | 한국어 | 中国人

The first option, 日本語, is Japanese for Japanese as a language, inasmuch as the 3 characters (Japanese Kanji) are identical to traditional Chinese characters (for which i can vouch) having the same meaning (Japanese as a language).

The middle option, 한국어, would seem to be in the Korean language, and presumably means Korean as a language.

The last option, 中国人, is simplified Chinese for Chinese person, not Chinese language.  That error is presumably from some translation program whose use was not overseen by anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of the Chinese language.  Yes, the word Chinese could refer to a person or to the language, but for such a large and well-resourced company to have that mistake on such a prominent website seems rather embarrassing.  I informed the company of this error; time will tell if it will fix it (7/23/12: It's fixed now, to 中文).

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