Online translators: “what?”

Today you can copy text, plug into an online translator, and have yourself a nifty set of words that might or might not make the slightest sense.

Clockwise Trail Access

Clockwise Trail Access (Photo credit: MTSOfan)

For example, I heard one of a translation of the common idiom: “Out of sight, out of mind” translated to : “Invisible, insane.”


I recently purchased a personal PA system for speaking engagements. It’s one of those gadgets with a wired microphone attached to a small amplifier that you can hang from your belt. I used it last week for a group activity and it worked pretty slick.

But the one-sheet instruction guide must have come from Jupiter because of some of these statements:

  • “Features: Lithium battery, long battery life. Loud-speaker works pretty good.” (Since that’s what a PA system is for, I was glad to know that.)
  • “To extend the battery life, please charge after the battery is use out.” (I assume “use out” should be “used up” but what’s a preposition among friends?)
  • “You can adjust the length of waistband, as shown below.” (Below is the bottom of the page. Flipping the page reveals how to adjust the microphone.)
  • “Attentions before wearing the ear-hanging microphone: Before wearing, please don’t turn on the power and volume.” (The ear-hanging microphone might be better called a single-ear microphone but I can adjust. I’m still trying to understand the why of the second instruction.)
  • “Don’t change the battery by yourself under warranty. Be sure that the pole is right when the change the battery.” (To change, not to change… well, it’s only a $35 gadget so I probably won’t worry about the pole.)
  • “Turn the volume button clockwise or anticlockwise can increase or decrease the volume.” (Anticlockwise?)
  • “Decrease the volume to avoid noises.” (But I want volume. That’s why I bought the unit. Maybe my voice is a noise….)
  • “Cut in and pull out the plug often may cause the disbad connection between microphone and amplifier.” (And we don’t want a disbad connection.)

I’m a reader and I’m a writer so I read these instructions once, curbed the urge to re-write them, and saved them long enough for this post.

However, I think these instructions fall under the “invisible, insane” category.


2 thoughts on “Online translators: “what?”

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