• Bad translations are everywhere, especially in Quebec where some translators just can't seem to get it right.
  • We scoured the internet for the most hilarious mauvaises traductions and here they are.
  • Enjoy these 20 traductions de merde!

I recently came across a bad translation and it couldn't help but go out afterwards and look for some more.

As someone who is actively learning French, I will be the first to admit that French is hard... and I've likely made mistakes, like the ones below, more than once.

In school, I learned that traduction is an Anglos #1 downfall when it comes to learning French, which is why taking in French organically, though the radio, books, film or television, is a really important part of learning.

This way you're learning to express yourself via the language you are learning, instead of trying to use your new language to express your thoughts... which, for me, obviously exist in English.

Still, I consider it a mark of pride that I was able to find the humour in these traductions de merde... and likely learned something along the way, too.

This article was inspired by the game SKIP-BO, which you can see in the cover photo. I was playing with a friend of mine and she noticed the traduction de merde, highlighting that somehow, the French was the only one that somehow got translated out of having any fun involved at all.

Don't worry SKIP-BO, I still love you and obviously can appreciate...French is hard. Don't believe me?

Well, take a look at these beautiful attempts at la langue de Molière.

While I imagine Viola Davis is even more impressive and intimidating in French, this attempt at translation for her show How To Get Away With Murder is... well... killing me.

First of all, I can't tell if this is a game or some kind of dating activity flyer? But, as the post explains, they didn't manage to get a single translation correct on the whole thing.

Les affaires de Noneya...oof.

Of course, this compilation would not be complete without the mis-use of Turkey the country and turkey the poultry.

Here we've got one of each: turkey jerky made of dried Turks, and cotton made from our favourite Thanksgiving bird.

The one below sounds like a lot of girls from comme anglo-Canada who I learned to speak French with, comme classmates. Also, clearly bing needs to study its marqueurs de temps.

Though sometimes, it's clear that no one is even trying.

Some translation issues you will see all too often.

Like these computer-related translations that make it clear even computers can't master French overnight.

Nice try, Google Translate.

Though I think my favourite traductions de merde are, without question, ones that have to do with food.

A nice, self-polished sausage and some giraffe balls.

I always heard French cuisine was a world apart...

I think it's extra special when it seems like the reason the French translation is bad is because whoever was translating just...ran out of translating juice.

Like the SKIP-BO package! I was like...aw...you were doing so well. The English was perfect, Spanish fantastic and then... jermapell Francks.

Again, like the one above, it is so commendable that you want everyone to beware of their wallets...

But how did you know how frighteningly empty my wallet is?!

Yes, despite all the capabilities modern computers have, they still have yet to master the French language... or really any language, that is, once you start trying to translate.

But somehow I appreciate the computer's decision to add that these fish cakes were cooked in a profoundly deep manner...

Or this sauce, that includes the exotic vegetables like "Écrasez" and le Bonbon peppers.

Computers and other bad translators have one thing though: liberté. 

And they want to give that libération to the world.

Liberate stains! Liberate gluten!

Vivez libre mes amis!

Just like these pretzels insist:

Honestly, these food translations are getting a little personal... now, just because I'm buying a ready chutney, I'm lazy? 

Very interesting approach to creating market appeal but...do your thing.

Mauvaises translations really are a beautiful thing, and as language learners, they can use humour to teach us things from other people's mistakes!

Like now I know that a safe is called a coffre-fort, and I'm going to need a bigger one if I'm supposed to be able to fit my dishwasher in it...who am I, Jeffree Star?

I leave you with this festive faux ami.

Tu m'allume.


The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

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