Changing your Facebook relationship status could cause a heart attack!

This is what happened to our friend Katia. Katia and her partner Juan formed a registered civil union earlier this year. She decided to update her Facebook relationship status from “In a relationship” to “In a civil union”. Great! Many friends clicked “Like”, maybe hoping to be invited to drink a glass of champagne.

When invited to Juan’s parents, over lunch Katia was asked a few strange questions by her mother-in-law about her relationship with Juan. She couldn’t really understand what the problem was. However, a bit later she learned that her mother-in-law, who is Spanish and uses Facebook in Spanish, was seeing “Katia vive en unión homosexual con Juan” (Katia is in a homosexual relationship with Juan) on her Facebook wall. Facebook’s translation of “In a civil union” is incorrectly “Unión homosexual”.

In this instance, this mistranslation didn’t cause any problem, but it could give other, less open-minded mother-in-laws a heart attack….




Are any of the other languages mistranslated?

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3 Responses to “Changing your Facebook relationship status could cause a heart attack!”
  1. That is what happens when you don’t want to spend a penny in the translations (even though your company is valued at billions) and decide that people with no translation skills do the translations instead. I am sure Facebook’s owner would never leave anybody but a plumber to fix his toilet!! Why then is he not using qualified translators to translate Facebook??

    It really angries me.

    Thanks for sharing it!

  2. EnVergaDura says:

    It’s a real shame that Facebook is translated by non-qualified people, but it’s even more shameful that these people accept to translate (even a single sentence) for free!

  3. I agree with Curri, it’s simply outrageous that companies like Facebook decide to get their content translated by amateurs–I don’t get it.

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