Newcomers in Taiwan usually rely on English translations provided under Chinese characters to get to know their way around.
When translations contain overlooked errors, however, things can get a little bit complicated. according to a foreigner who posted some recent photos of a hike on the Wu-Long Trail (伍龍步道) in Tainan.
Having lived in Taiwan for quite some time, Robert was just looking at a guide map set up at the start of the trail, when he realized that something was very wrong with it.
He pointed out that someone is just “phoning it in” with the translation work and posted the photo on a social media platform.
At first glance, nothing seems to be wrong with it as trails such as Wu-Long, Mei-Long and Mercy Buddha were all translated aptly.
However, upon closer inspection, one can see that Mei Peak (梅峰), Bamboo Peak (竹仔尖) and the Giant ficus subpisocarpa (雀榕巨木) were all translated as “aaaaaa.”
The blunder was immediately ridiculed by members of the foreign community as one social media user jokingly wrote, “The Chinese language is incredible! They have all these different ways of saying ‘aaaaaa.’”
Another added that the trail must be pretty scary, as even the translators are dictating their screams onto the maps.
Others pointed out that they’re not surprised these types of errors are often overlooked, as most only care about the Chinese portion, and added that higher-ups sometimes neglect to proofread the English version.
Some also questioned whether someone fell asleep at the keyboard, or more somberly, “died” while typing the translations, while others reasoned it probably wasn’t the work of a translator, but rather a placeholder text that was never edited again.
Regardless of how the mistake came to be, many were in agreement that it was a very “Taiwanese” thing to do and added that sometimes if one doesn’t find something wrong, that’s when it feels off.