Sunday, 8 January 2012

All abuzz over ‘Ethical Clothing'.

~ from The Star, 6th Jan 2012.

PETALING JAYA: If you are working at the Defence Ministry, be sure not to wear “clothes that poke eye”. This was one of the many colourful descriptions of “Ethical Clothing” (etika berpakaian) that is acceptable within the ministry's standards. Netizens on social networking sites were literally ROFL, which is cyberspeak for “rolling on the floor laughing”, as they shared the link to the ministry's amusing English translation of the staff dress code on its official website. “Clothes that poke eye” is a literal translation of pakaian yang menjolok mata, which is supposed to mean revealing clothes in Bahasa Malaysia. Other finds included: “collared shirts and tight Malay civet berbutang three”, which, in Malay, is berkolar baju Melayu cekak musang berbutang tiga. Baju batik lengan panjang berkolar / cekak musang buatan Malaysia, meanwhile is translated as “long-sleeve batik shirt with collar / mongoose fight made in Malaysia”. There was also “shine closed”, which was translated from kasut bertutup, or closed-toe shoes. Another was the brief summary of the ministry's history on the website, which read: “After the withdrawal of British army, the Malaysian Government take drastic measures to increase the level of any national security threat.” The actual summary in Bahasa Malaysia read: Selepas pengunduran tentera British, Kerajaan Malaysia mengambil langkah drastik untuk meningkatkan tahap keselamatan negara dari sebarang ancaman. The ministry took down the English translated version several hours after it went widespread on Twitter and Facebook. A ministry spokesperson said a clarification has since been posted on the website, adding that page hits shot up remarkably yesterday. The clarification on the website said corrective action was being taken on the related software to ensure translations were accurate.


I literally smiled when I read this on the local daily (on an otherwise another dour day). While my own English is, admittedly, sub-par at best, me thinks certain ministries should take the effort to do translation from Bee Em to Inglish more professionally, not just running through the translation via, just a suspicion btw, say Google Translate.

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