google translate is an incredible tool but it’s essential to double check google’s translations when they sound weird. everybody knows that, right? maybe not. mexico’s tourism department found out the hard way last month. the associated press reports
it has been a bad week for mexican tourism promotion, and it got worse friday when the english language version of the country’s tourism website appeared with hilarious mis-translations.
hilarious is very funny. get worse is an example of get + adjective and indicates a transition, a change; from bad to worse in this case. it’s common to hear get worse in song lyrics, including at the beginning of the second verse of this rock classic by guns n roses. listen at 1:55 for…
welcome to the jungle it gets worse here every day
the flubs (mistakes) on visitmexico.com included…
entire states like hidalgo and guerrero apparently got machine translated as “noble” and “warrior.” worse for the visitmexico.com site, there was systematic and inexplicable re-invention of the names of some fairly well-known tourist towns. the caribbean resort of tulum somehow became “jumpsuit.”
get (machine) translated is passive voice—get is an auxiliary, translated is a past participle. fairly means relatively, more or less. a jumpsuit is a type of clothing designed as one piece. see the english practice extra video at the bottom of the post for several examples.
another example of passive voice with get. check out these examples of ripped off.
in response to the snafu (fail), mexico’s tourism department…
issued a statement apologizing for the apparently out-sourced errors, but then made it sound like something sinister had been involved. “the tourism department expresses its most sincere apologies to the public and users for the effects that have occurred on the website visitmexico. moreover, we make it known that these acts aim to damage the image of the website and the department, and so therefore a criminal complaint has been filed and appropriate legal actions will be taken against those responsible.
issue means release, provide. apologize is say they are sorry. out-sourced means the people responsible for the mistake worked for another company that provides services for the tourism department. had been involved is past perfect passive voice. the company responsible for the sinister act is not mentioned. had and been are auxiliaries. involved is a past participle. moreover is similar to additionally. aim means the intent was to damage the tourism department. therefore means for that reason. a complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction. has been filed is present perfect passive voice and will be taken is future passive voice–in both cases though mexico’s department of tourism is not mentioned as the subject it’s implied that they are who is taking the action.
aimbot eliminates the necessity to aim in shooting games (toms hardware.com)
why would the tourism department make an accusation like that? and how could this happen to an organization with abundant experience producing material in english? according to the associated press…
the department did not explain that claim, but local media reported the dispute might involve a web services supplier angry about not being paid.
use of the word claim indicates that the tourism department has this opinion, but it is not accepted as a fact. the modal auxiliary verb might means maybe. a supplier provides a service for another company. not being paid is another passive voice example where it is implied that the tourism department is who didn’t pay though they are not mentioned as the subject. the auxiliary be is in the -ing form because it comes after the preposition about.
most maps of mexico show tulum, not jumpsuit. (evabee.com)
as mentioned above, the english practice extra for this post has numerous examples of jumpsuits, as well as many more examples of get + adjective and passive voice with get that are described above.
who do u think was responsible for this snafu? does a flub like this impact your opinion of tourism in mexico? share your views under leave a reply
have fun, amigos.