Italian to English: a collection of Google Translate epic fails
In this global and multicultural world, Google Translate has certainly made our lives easier, giving us access to prompt translations which, in most cases are, if not accurate, at least giving an idea of the meaning of the original text. Nevertheless, relying on an automated tool when approaching a foreign language is often a risky business, as machine translation most of the times fails in taking into consideration all those aspects of language which cannot be included in the sheer morphosyntax. Furthermore, automated translation seems to work very well with widely spoken languages, while the lack of sources and models for (quantitatively) minority languages frequently affects the target text with blunders and hilarious misunderstandings.
Translating from Italian to English: should you rely on Google Translate and other forms of machine translation?
This considered, we at our Italian language school in Rome always discourage our students from using Google Translate, either in class or when doing their Italian language exercises at home, since generally this tool only works as an immediate but fleeting relief for Italian language learners trying to figure out the meaning of text, thus distracting them from the true goal of their efforts, which is, in fact, the global comprehension.
If you are still not convinced that using software such as Google Translate to convert Italian to English (or English to Italian) might not be a wise choice, here’s a collection of the most hilarious translations obtained using automated tools. Have fun – and keep on studying Italian!
Translating idioms from English to Italian through Google Translate
it's raining cats and dogs = piove cani e gatti
Correct translation: piove a catinelle
once in a blue moon = una volta in una luna blu
Correct translation: una volta ogni morte di papa
I hope this email finds you well = Spero che questo email si trova bene
Correct translation: spero che tu stia bene
don’t bug me = non fare bug me
Correct translation: non darmi fastidio
hear through the grapevine = sentire attraverso la vigna
Correct translation: sapere da voci di corridoio
thank you for getting back to me = grazie per tornare a me
Correct translation: grazie per aver risposto
the file is covered in comments = il file è coperto nei commenti
Correct translation: il file è pieno di commenti
stop messing around with the layout = smettere di fare in giro con il layout
Correct translation: smettere di perdere tempo con il layout
let’s grab lunch = cerchiamo di afferrare il pranzo
Correct translation: mangiamo un boccone
he’s the top dog (in the company) = lui è un cane top (in azienda)
Correct translation: lui è uno che comanda (in azienda)