Why computer translation is a bad idea! Chinese New Year BBC blunder: ‘Welcome to the year of the whores’ – Weird News – News – The Independent

 

Chinese New Year BBC blunder: 'Welcome to the year of the whores' - Weird News - News - The Independent

Many of my students try to translate one word at a time, when they see unfamiliar vocabulary.  They may also watch TV shows that have been translated by computer.  Possibly you’ve watched shows and turned on the English captions, but they look strange.  Sometimes, the captions are what a computer “thinks” the speaker has said.  The BBC, one of the world’s largest TV networks had an embarrassing problem like this, when it broadcast a news story about the “Year of the Horse”, lunar new year celebrations.  Another word that sounds similar to “horse” is “whores”, the plural form of the noun “whore”.  According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, this is the definition:

Definition of WHORE

1
:  a woman who engages in sexual acts for money : prostitutealso :  a promiscuous or immoral woman
2
:  a male who engages in sexual acts for money
3
:  a venal or unscrupulous person

Chinese New Year BBC blunder: ‘Welcome to the year of the whores’ – Weird News – News – The Independent.

Be careful when you use a word for word translation, because you may make a similar mistake someday!

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