Manual translation

c: | f: /

You know you’re in for something special when the opening paragraph of a DVD operating manual reads “When open, refit or demount the machine, our company cannot supply after-sales service.”

Being a monoglot, I fully appreciate that it’s a difficult job to translate documentation — especially of a technical nature — into English, which is perhaps one of the most idiosyncratic languages on Earth. That said, it still makes me chuckle when the best efforts of the translators makes utter nonsense. Like in the printed manual that accompanies a certain portable DVD player, which boasts the following phrase under Safety Information:

It cannot use the broken, distortion shape or mended disc, which will cause damage and inefficiently read.

Sure, it’s clunky, but the gist is determinable. Unlike the very next statement on the page:

Check the crust and power adapter (especially the parts of the existence of damage.) [symbols] mark part of internal there danger of voltage, current and enough.

Uhhh, what? Presumably the crust is the outer shell of either the device or the packaging. Or maybe I should toast it first? Further advice includes:

Please sure DVD and spare parts far away from liquid, don’t put it in such environment, such as vase beside.

Sage words. Rather like the power supply advice:

Do not put the battery team in hit environment.

and, even more interestingly, that they wish me to grab a pencil and harness the power of my mind after I’ve finished with it:

When not in use, please draw power DC adapter, and will power adapter plucked from the socket.

And of course, never forget:

After play disc, please keep disc.

D’oh, because otherwise I may mistakenly watch the DVD and then chuck it away.

Beyond the safety information, I’m a little baffled by the function of the “VOL-” button. Conventional wisdom might dictate that it would decrease the device volume, but the manual implies otherwise (umm, at least I think it does) :

Some models in the LCD screen of composite function of state of the menu to the left, or simultaneously composite realize choose retreat quickly function.

Clear as night.

I could go on, as this manual really has some of the craziest English phrases I’ve ever encountered in documentation, but I think I’ll sign off with my personal favourite regarding safe operation of the device:

When the DVD have unusual sound and smell such as splintering or poop, please switch off the power line as soon as possible.

‘nuff said.

Write it down


(required, never made visible)

(optional, linked with rel="nofollow")