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A Look at the Tokyo Museum just for Bizarre Japanese-to-English Mistranslations

While there's certainly nothing wrong with a non-native speaker of English making a mistake or a machine language translation malfunctioning, sometimes you can't help but laugh at the result of far too literal translations.

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Source: Princess Anmitsu / PIXTA(ピクスタ)

Whether it be on shirts, official forms, or advertisements, Japan has plenty of examples of things getting lost in Japanese to English translation.

While there's certainly nothing wrong with a non-native speaker of English making a mistake or a machine language translation malfunctioning, sometimes you can't help but laugh at the result of far too literal translations.

In order to highlight some of the more humorous translations gone awry as an educational experience, Language learning app Duolingo recently launched The Museum of Wonky English (MOWE)--a pop-up museum in Tokyo dedicated to mistranslated Japanese to English phrases!

The pop-up museum was hosted at Harajuku's UltraSuperNew Gallery from November 29th to December 7th, and while the museum focused on masterpiece mistranslations such as “Please urinate with precision and elegance”, “When coffee is all gone. It’s over”, and "Crap your hands", Duolingo says they hope that shining a light on the errors with some levity could help people appreciate the nuance and difficulty of translation, and perhaps look into learning a new language.

Author: Grape Japan

The rest of the article can be viewed on our partner’s website, grape Japan at “A look at the Tokyo museum just for bizarre Japanese-to-English mistranslations.

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