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Embarrassing mistake in Düsseldorf city guide for the Eurovision Song Contest

April 29th, 2011

In the blog post Get the better of sneaky errors in your texts – thanks to our “ready-to-print” service we asked you for your own experiences about mistakes that were discovered too late or just in time. We received the following story about reports in several media sources:

Peinlicher Fehler im Düsseldorfer Stadtführer zum Eurovision Song ContestAs Düsseldorf is the host city of this years‘Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourismus GmbH produced an exclusive city guide. Over 100 pages, visitors can find information about the music competition as well as gastronomy, nightlife, culture, shopping, attractions and events in the area.

Error with implications: “Gay’s Day of Action” instead of “Schools‘ Day of Action”

Instead of the phrase “Aktionstag der Schulen (schools‘),” the misprint “Aktionstag der Schwulen (gay’s),” slipped into the German version of the brochure, and was subsequently translated into English as “Gay’s Day of Action.” Embarrassing, as it should actually have read “Schools’ Day of Action”. The mistake had to be covered with a sticker in 65,000 copies of the German brochure and 35,000 copies of the English version. On the front cover, readers were greeted with “Wielcome to Düsseldorf.” As there was no time for the brochures to be reprinted, the superfluous “i” had to be painted over 35,000 times.

It might have been an amusing mistake, but it probably led to additional costs as well as unnecessary stress. Such errors can hurt personal, religious or ethical feelings and can have communicative, economic or legal consequences. This is why we offer our customers a free terminology service as well as a free “ready-to-print” service.

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Our terminology service gathers important concepts and specialist terms and ensures their consistent use in all languages. With our “ready-to-print” service we check all documents that have been translated by us before completion to ensure that translations have been implemented correctly and that no errors have slipped in.

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