Spine-chilling translations

On Halloween 2018 we’ve decided to pay homage to the horrors of the translation world by showing you 10 monstrosities we’ve seen online.
But to find out how quality translations are done, click on the pumpkin!


1. #JeSuisFlamingo


2. Censored


3. Weeding time

translation fail

4. Need a technical translation?



5. Rape, more rape, a lot of rape?

True, it’s not an easy one to explain abroad, so maybe it needs some context. The “cima di rapa” is a vegetable typically grown in Southern Italy. “Rape” is only its plural, nothing violent or dangerous. “Orecchiette con le cime di rape” are a typical dish from Apulia. So nothing to do with mountains. But then again, a mountain of orecchiette wouldn’t be too bad.



6. Google translate strikes again!


7. Self-citations


8. Manicure for Edward (Scissorshand)


9. Yum!


10. R.I.P. Paul

italian hand gesture

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Italians are recognised worldwide for their expressive hand gestures, no conversation is complete without them. Ever wondered what they all mean?

What? Where? Why?

What? Where? Why?

Perhaps the most versatile and frequently used; there is not one single Italian speaker that does not use this on a daily basis! Some of us non-natives have realised we even use it when we’re not speaking Italian!

Look at that a**hole

2Another frequent gesture, this often follows the first one in situations of outrage and disbelief! We just love the eyebrows that go with it!

Finito (no more)

3This one is used often, but the meaning is less clear to non-natives; it simply means “all gone”. Another gesture that involves a similar movement of the hand, but the index finger instead points into the cheek means “tasty”.

Go f*** yourself!

4Hopefully this gesture won’t be necessary; but if it is, use it with the right offender. Sticking out your tongue is optional.

 OK! Good

5This hand gesture, in places such as Europe or the U.S., means “great”; but be careful! In parts of Brazil and Russia it’s an equivalent to the previous image!

Go away!


Again, we love the eyebrows that accompany this simple expression of moving your hand up and down to tell someone to “go away”; you could say it might come in “handy” if someone is annoying you!

If you could only imagine…

7This is one of our favourites; similar to many Italian hand gestures, this one is often used in casual conversations between friends, family or neighbours – “oh if only you knew”. The facial expression is also a key part to this one.

I don’t care


If you simply do not care about what someone is saying or has just said, and you feel that you can’t even express yourself with words; this simple gesture will suffice.

Forget it!


Confusing for people who have not seen this gesture before, it could be interpreted as “something smelly”. However, you would be mistaken; in Italian this hand gesture means “forget it!”

Intrawelt advises you to use these gestures with caution. We take no responsibility for the consequences of the use of these gestures, and as a language service provider note that for us, words speak just as loudly as actions!

Happy gesturing!

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Illustrations by: Alfredo Cassano

Whistle while you work

We have been quite quiet recently, working on all our projects; but fear not, we are back! From now on, you will be able to read our latest blog post each week! Helpful, fun and wonderfully inquisitive is what we are aiming for, just like all of us here at Intrawelt!

One thing that is not so quiet and that we find very curious, is listening to music at work, or whilst working. Translation and revision are very complicated processes and, here at Intrawelt, things to which we give our full attention every day. However, everybody is different and opts for their own working style. Many people say music helps them concentrate and increases their productivity, yet an equal amount say it hinders them.

Of course, this all depends on what type of music you are listening to; not necessarily just the genre, but also how much you like it and how well you know it. Studies show that background music increases productivity by improving your mood. Experts recommend songs with no lyrics, songs you are very familiar with, or sounds-of-nature soundtracks, as these are the categories that are most likely to help you focus.

Music can be especially helpful when it comes to comparing documents with lots of numbers as part of a revision, or if the document is particularly repetitive; it keeps you motivated and moving. In the article, Background music can aid second language learning, H. J. Kang and V. J. Williamson provide an incredibly interesting analysis of the effects music has on cognitive tasks. They state that: “Music that is low in complexity has been associated with improved performance on language learning tasks”. So, not only does music boost your mood and efficiency in the office, it can also help with your language acquisition skills! A pretty handy tool for all the aspiring linguists out there!