Posted tagged ‘Translation of instructions’

Translation Matters – 14

15 January 2010

A recent purchase in the post-Christmas sales has provided some interesting evidence of translation anomalies, which could be used as practice and discussion by students of translation from French to English, or vice-versa. (The Spanish translation is also included for Spanish aficionados.)

The cardboard wrapping of my French “frypan” offered lengthy French instructions and description, followed by English, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Greek versions. So my simple frypan was, for others, a poêle, koekenpan, sartén, padella, frigideira (I had to check that one but it is correct), or THΓANI.

To check the guarantee on the non-stick surface, it was necessary to read the very small print on the inside of the wrapping, and, having spotted obvious anomalies between the French and English versions, I checked all the rest, except the Greek translation. Intriguing: four translations seemed to follow the French version (with some omissions), but the English version offered significant alternative and extra information. The simple task for readers is to compare the two versions below and spot the differences – and perhaps form their own opinions of why these extra pieces were added for English-speaking purchasers.

(I have also included the Spanish translation for those interested in that language.)

The French brand name has been replaced by “X”.



X garantit cet ustensile de cuisine à partir de la date d’achat contre tout vice de fabrication.

La présente garantie ne couvre pas les dommage dus aux mauvaises utilisations, chocs, chutes ou dus à un usage professionnel. Elle ne couvre pas les taches, décolorisations ou rayeurs à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur de l’ustensile.

X garantit que le revêtement antiadhésif est conforme à la réglementation concernant les matériaux en contact avec les aliments.



X guarantees the handles, body, knobs, lids and fixings of this cooking product from the date of purchase for a period of 12 months against any manufacturing defects. The non-stick coating is guaranteed for the life of the pan from blistering or peeling.

This warranty does not cover damage by incorrect use, professional use or if the product is knocked or dropped. It does not cover stains, discoloration or scratches on the inside or outside of the product due to normal wear and tear.

X guarantees that the non-stick coating complies with regulations covering materials in contact with food. Your statutory rights are not affected by any statement in this document.



X garantiza este utensilio de cocina a partir de la fecha de compra contra todo defecto de fabricación.

La presente garantía no cubre los daños causados por el uso incorrecto, utilización profesional o si el utensilio ha sido golpeado. Tampoco cubre las manchas, la pérdida de color o rayaduras que puedan producirse en el interior y exterior del utensilio.

X garantiza que el revestimiento antiadherente es conforme a la reglamentación de los materiales que están en contacto con los alimentos.