Mayoral Candidates Lost in Translation

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It’s no surprise, in a city with such a large Chinese population, that mayoral candidates here have attempted to reach voters in the community by setting up Chinese-language sites. But according to the Sing Tao Daily, thanks to poor translations, some of these sites have done more harm than good.

Bevan Dufty is one of 16 candidates vying to take over the reins of City Hall. A former supervisor for District 8, which includes much of downtown and North Beach, Dufty’s Chinese-language “Meet Bevan” site made use of Google’s free on-line translator, which the Sing Tao notes garbled the language to the point of incomprehension.

Where his English site says Dufty “gets the big picture,” for example, the Chinese-language site reads, “Dufty gets a big photo.”

The result, the paper notes, left Chinese voters questioning Dufty’s platform and, more importantly, his sincerity in communicating with them.