Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Never rely on machine translations

There is a tendency in China to "claim" English proficiency, but instead heavily rely on machine translations. However, machines do NOT translate actual meaning, and thus, it can lead to some serious misunderstandings. Take this example...

A manager is hiring in China, and received a whole bunch of resumes, which comes in both English and original Chinese. One of the candidates, a female, wrote under skills:

* had a relationship with all of my customers

On the English resume, of course.

No, she did NOT try to sleep with all of her customers. In Chinese, guanxi, or 關係, is translated as "relationship", but this is professional and cordial business type relationship, not the male-female relationship.

Another victim of machine translation!

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