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Oops – Localization can be a tricky business, if like Jerusalem, the translation says it’s not there! September 21, 2006

Posted by The PR Cassandra in Posts.

I love BBC News.  As even “mainstream” broadcast and print news in the US becomes ever more celebrity and commercially-oriented, one can still find news in independent blogs and foreign news services such as the BBC.

Even for the “Beeb,” some stories have a wry angle.  We often hear of gaffes by US translations of brochures or news releases – here’s one from the Middle East.  I liked this news piece (having once lived in Jerusalem/Al Quds):

Jerusalem is lost in translation The al-Aqsa complex in Jerusalem


Officials had hoped to attract tourists to the city

Tourism officials in Israel did little to sell the city of Jerusalem as a must-see for visitors when a brochure suggested it did not exist.

The sightseeing pamphlet was translated from Hebrew and should have read: “Jerusalem – there’s no city like it!”.

But instead the slogan in English read: “Jerusalem – there’s no such city!”, reported the Israeli newspaper Maariv.

Tens of thousands of the leaflets were distributed before the Jerusalem municipality realised its mistake.

The flyers were promoting a musical and arts festival held in the city in August.




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