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Discover New Side Of The TV-DISCOVERY-CHANNEL!

AngloRussian presents some pearls from the Russian version of  the Discovery Channel as samples of "brilliant" translation to your fun!

Have some laugh at clumsy translation and skimpy or silly management!

Sorry if some details might be caught only in Russian, we made our best not Russian speaking enjoy it too.

1. Discovery channel in their telecast about aircraft translated "ammunition" as "trappings" into Russian (second word in Russian sounds like English word Ammunition), so instead of "cannon-shots" or "shells" the supersonic fighter carries clothing in its wing!

2. A cock ostrich skewers eggs instead of hatches (in Russian these two verbs differ in only symbol) "насаживать" instead of "насиживать".

3. "Power plant" of a boat was translated as "ignition system". It is a puzzle, there is nothing like in the phrase  either in English or Russian. Anyway it was "система зажигания" instead of  "силовая установка".

4. "Boat" should translate in Russian in every special case differently, dinghy or powerboat or sailing boat or ship, etc. The mistake is repeated again and again. How do you like when they say "The dinghy was loaded with 130 tons of fish"?

5. "Brake horsepower of an engine" was translated literally again "тормозная мощность двигателя" instead of "(полная) мощность" or just "мощность", it is like as if instead of "actual power" they say "power of braking".

6.  They translated "slip method" literally too, "слип-метод" instead of  "метод скользящей опалубки".
7. "Axial thrust" was translated as "векторная тяга" instead of  "осевая тяга", that was just absurd, like "vector thrust".

8. "Aircraft with flapping wing" was translated literally "самолет с размахивающими крыльями" instead of good old Russian word "махолет".

9. In a scene of autogyro they pronounced the word as if it was in German, but in Russian it spelt and pronounced differently "автожир" instead of "автогир", as they said.

10. At the same scene they translated oldest pilot in the world as most senior/chief/ -- "старший" instead of  "старый".

11. They translated "optic nerve" literally in spite of there is another polynomial expression in Russian "зрительный нерв" and not  "оптический нерв", that sounds like "visual nerve".

12. "Frame of a car" is translated in Russian not as "каркас", but as "рама", that sounds like "a sceleton of a car".  

13. How do you like a phrase "Power of the engine is 750 cubic centimeters"? The folks translated capacity as power!

14. They translated "deciduous forest" as "листопадные леса" instead of "лиственные леса", it sounds like "leaves casting forest".

15. Saying of a hypersonic aircraft: "High aspect ratio of a wing" was translated as "high span ratio" in Russian "высокая степень размаха крыла", that is absurd, of course, instead of "высокая степень удлинения крыла".

16. Frankly speaking it is impossible imagine source spelling of an absurd phrase "массивный размах крыла" instead of "полный размах крыла" "massive/total/complete(?) wing span". But in Russian it sounded like "blocky/clumpy wing span".

17. They pronounced "titanium" as it was in German, but in Russian it sound as "titan", "титан" and not "титаниум".

18. "Lieutenant colonel" is in Russian "подполковник" and not "лейтенант-полковник", that equal "colonel/lieutenant". Really, the folks are so inventive in designing new words! All Russian people are very grateful to them!

19. "Sooner than express bullet" was translated literally with no attention as "Быстрее скоростной пули", that sounds like "Sooner than fast-moving bullet" instead of "Быстрее пули"="Sooner than any bullet". Express bullet" translated too long in Russian as "пуля с высокой начальной скоростью полета" or "облегченная пуля" that is very specific phrase, so nobody uses it in everyday life.

20. "Main weapon of a modern army (of the USA) is silicon" was translated as "Main weapon of a modern army (of the USA) is silicone". I.e. "силикон" instead of "кремний (полупроводники)", "silicone" instead of "silicon (semiconductor)". Yeah, the army fights with their artificial breasts! "


Some comments from the AngloRussian more: the samples were gathered for a few days of watching on TV the Discovery Channel. They give 5-10 good samples per day or more.

You can see there are three main reasons for such clumsy translation into Russian:

  1. Translators are not Russian-native, that's why we offer only translation from English into Russian & Ukrainian.

  2. Translators are not enough expert in a field where they work. Especially it is correct for technics, engineering, exact and hard sciences. Great many of linguists cannot understand technics at all. Try the Engineering Translation Service from the AngloRussian, very inexpensive and very professional service. 

  3. Sometimes it is very useful to hire another translator for proofreading. Many translators are self-confident, you should not pin your faith on their diplomas and degrees more than they deserve with their job. Besides, proofreading is very cheap, we, for example, do it for $0.01 per word only!

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Created by V. Honcharov, Poltava, Ukraine, 2001.