Translation has always been more or less an afterthought for most companies, and overseas firms that manufacture goods for the USA often (obviously!) cut corners by saying things like “Oh, give it to Miss Chen, she speaks some English.”
The results were predictably bad. Nowadays things have improved a little, but it was not uncommon in the latter part of the 20th Century to see things like the following:
How To Fit-up Your Computer
Clear the area on which you are to put back together the divorced parts. Make sure the room is all there. Popping out of the boxes should be:
- An attractive monitor giving enlivening displays.
- An efficient keyboard for the tipping of. (A mouse can be put on the second hand if that’s your turn-on.)
- A fortified central processing unit where all types of characters can be juggled with.
- And last, strict instruction on hand in either floppy or hard appearance.
Look within now to see if you have any surprises. If you are unfortunate enough to have something missing, or there is an unexpected presence, your local dealer will be willing to examine.
IMPORTANT!! Before you can plug it, you must ensure that the virgin monitor is fitted with a proper adapter in order to cope with your man’s supply.
To start assembly, pray central processing unit is in room provided. Have compartment ready for stuffed batteries. Repeat once a year. Check monitor not being supplied, then carefully drip onto unit. Now marry the tarts by inserting dangling cables. Finally, ready position for coupling behind keyboard.
You should now be ready to switch on to many hours of trouble-free commuting.
Naturally, “Engrish” is still a thing. The translation industry worldwide has undergone a sea change as the internet has opened markets to people living in third-world countries who might never have had access; and agencies take advantage of CAT tools to pay translators fractions of a cent per word based on how many times words or phrases are repeated. This is a scandal and a crime, and the main reason I got out of the freelance translation business, but that’s a subject for another rant.
The Old Wolf has spoken.