With the advent of automatic translation systems, lack of user-intervention can lead to some interesting consequences. For example, this banner from Beijing:

Table for two?

"Table for two?"

In the process of making the banner, users tried to translate Chinese text into English with an automatic translation system. The translation software did not work for whatever reason and produced the error message, “Translation Server Error.” Since users didn’t know English, they thought that the error message was the translation and the error message went onto the sign.

From the same category of errors (someone relies on automated translating systems and, not knowing the language, accepts whatever output), the blog Revealing Errors describes the “stir fried wikipedia“, originally from here:

Special of the day

Special of the day

It’s not entirely clear how this error came about but it seems likely that someone did a search for the Chinese word for a type of edible fungus and its translation into English. The most relevant and accurate page very well might have been an article on the fungus on Wikipedia. Unfamiliar with Wikipedia, the user then confused the name of the article with the name of the website. There have been several distinct citings of “wikipedia” on Chinese menus.

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