May 29

Toy leaflet – who translated this?

I recently came across a toy leaflet of a global toy manufacturer which included several language versions, one of them being Polish. Read it – not happy with the translation at all. I dare say the Polish version was done by someone who has no clue about translation, nor the Polish language. A quick and simple analysis will show why:

Source: Warning: Choking hazard – Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.
Target: Ostrzeżenie: Ryzyko zakrztuszenia – Produkt zawiera małe element, dlatego nie jest przeznaczony dla dzieci poniżej 3 roku życia.

Comment: Accuracy!? To translate “choking” as “zakrztuszenia” is an unforgiveable error of inaccuracy. Yes, I know “choke” can mean “to obstruct the breathing”, however, here it most definitely refers to further consequences, i.e. “suffocate”. Therefore in Polish it should read “Ryzyko uduszenia”. The remaining part is so clumsy. “Produkt zawiera” is an expansion of the source which originally does not have this phrase. As there is no need for it. Same for “dlatego ”. This is a leaflet. It should be brief and to the point. I suggest “Małe elementy. (Produkt) dla dzieci powyżej 3. roku życia.” So I shifted (changed grammar) source “not (…) under (…)” into target “for (…) over”.

My version: Uwaga: Ryzyko uduszenia – małe elementy. Produkt dla dzieci powyżej 3. roku życia.

Let me move on to the next one:

Source: Manufactured by:
Target: Wyprodukowany przez:

The “-y” ending in “wyprodukowany” suggest a masculine gender, but can we tell this from “manufactured by”? No, we can’t. Therefore, I suggest a neutral form.

My version: Wyprodukowano przez:

And another one:

Source: Consumer Services (…) Please retain this information for future reference.
Target: Kontakt dla konsumenta (…) Prosimy zatrzymać tą informację na przyszłość.

Wow. Where do I start? “Kontakt dla konsumenta” is a poor choice, especially when a smart “Biuro obsługi klienta” is readily available. But my favourite part is a small and innocent attribute “tą”. It does not go with
“-ę” at the end of “informację”. These two ending should be the same “tę informację”. This really sums up this translator’s lack of understanding of the target language.

My version: Biuro obsługi klienta (…) Ulotkę należy zachować na późniejszy użytek.
OR the second part could be expanded to be more precise and meaningful:
(…) Ulotkę należy zachować, aby w razie potrzeby móc ją ponownie przeczytać.

About 100 words in a simple leaflet which is far from being a perfect translation. This company should definitely consider changing their LSP.

Share & Comment