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?