Media in Japan, us included, have been all over Taco Bell’s return to the country this week, but talk hasn’t been entirely of tacos. The Taco Bell Japan website was also making news when Japanese speakers noticed it had some pretty terrible and funny English-to-Japanese translations.

The website, which was apparently built using the Google Translate service rather than with the aid of a professional translator, has since been taken down and replaced with a simple splash screen directing visitors to Taco Bell Japan’s various social media accounts, but eagle-eyed natural language advocate @tomoakiyama managed to get some quick screen shots while the site was still active.

When you see them you’ll understand why the site was pulled…

As Tomo points out, Cheesy Chips have rather unfortunately been dubbed 安っぽいチップス (yasuppoi chippusu) in Japanese. Yasuppoi can be translated as low quality or cheap-looking. It’s definitely not how you want to present your product!

The one above that is a mistranslation too. Cheesy Fries have somehow become “a low-quality fleece.” Not great to eat, but maybe it will keep you warm while you wait for your food to arrive?

In the company history section, the PR-friendly message “A legacy is born” is translated as レガシーが生まれる (regashii ga umareru). The problem is that katakana regashii only carries the computer technology meaning of the English “legacy.” So the sentence could perhaps be translated as “an obsolete program is born.” Huh?

For information on ingredient sources, meanwhile, the saucy “we’ve got nothing to hide” is converted via automatic translation magic to a Japanese sentence akin to “what did we bring here to hide”. Personally, I think they are trying to hide the fact that they were too cheap to pay for a decent translator. That’s probably why most of the social media is in English too…

And here’s my personal favorite: the Crunchwrap Supreme Beef has got all litigious and is now Crunchwrap 最高裁牛肉 (saikousai gyuuniku) or Supreme Court Beef. Can’t you just see Ruth Bader Ginsburg going to town on one of those?

We often have a laugh here at RocketNews24 at particularly bad Engrish, but this shows mistranslation can cut both ways. The take-home message? For god’s sake, pay a translator when you take your product abroad!

H/T Tomo Akiyama
Top image: RocketNews24