Translation Mistakes That Had Huge Consequences

Imagine what would the world look like if everyone on Earth spoke the same language. The communication would be much easier, although confusion wouldn’t disappear overnight. Even within a particular language, people with different backgrounds have different ways of communicating. It could be a different register, different vocabulary, a different attitude toward others. Alternatively, the lack of a common language is an obstacle that can be surmounted. Without verbal communication to rely on, you can still use gestures and facial expressions to convey your emotions and basic information. 

On the other hand, the diversity of languages allows us to view the same world through different lenses. You don’t need to read Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” to know that our knowledge and opinions affect the way we see the world. Our minds are deficient mechanisms, unable to observe the world without skewing the results. Fortunately, this inherent flaw allows us to have a myriad of cultures. The Eskimo language has 50 words for snow. That’s because their entire lives revolve around activities related to snow. As a result, their extensive vocabulary allows them to experience more nuance when it comes to snow. Similarly, other cultures put a focus on certain areas of lives, making those aspects more pronounced and interesting. 

Still, the diversity of cultures and languages often leads to misunderstandings. Some of them may result in genuinely terrifying outcomes. To avoid those, check out this infographic, provided by Lighthouse Translations. Everyone makes mistakes, but at least try not to express your desire to touch Poland’s private parts by mistake as did Jimmy Carter while he was officially visiting Poland in 1977 

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