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Lost in translation

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: December 8, 2011

Thank goodness for World Toy News. Otherwise, how would I know that Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is vaunting its facilities and characterized displays?

That's the oddly worded headline the online newsletter put on my recent story on Stan Hywet's Deck the Hall celebration. Apparently the newsletter translated my story to Chinese and then back into English. Don't ask me why.

Donna Spiegler, Stan Hywet's communications manager, alerted me to the comically butchered translation. Following are some of my favorite examples.

My version: "Visitors are greeted by a scene from The Wizard of Oz in the Great Hall, where Dorothy and her companions gather at the gate of the Emerald City in the shadow of a grove of surly apple trees."

Translation: "Visitors are greeted by a stage from The Wizard of Oz in a Great Hall, where Dorothy and her companions accumulate during a embankment of a Emerald City in a shade of a timber of sullen apple trees."

My version: "Visitors can also gather around a fire in the courtyard and enjoy a musical performance each night in the Music Room."

Translation: "Visitors can also accumulate around a glow in a yard and suffer a low-pitched opening any night in a Music Room."

My version: "A different spin on the city’s past can be found in the West Porch, where volunteers Charles Steiner and Lee Meyer set up a 1923 electric toy train to run past a lighted replica of the Goodyear plant with its iconic clock tower."

Translation: "A opposite spin on a city’s past can be found in a West Porch, where volunteers Charles Steiner and Lee Meyer set adult a 1923 electric fondle sight to run past a aflame reproduction of a Goodyear plant with a iconic time building."

An electric fondle sight?

You can read the whole translated version here, if you're so inclined. My original story is on ohio.com.

 

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