Lost in translation


TRH (The Retired Husband) bought a new tool on-line a few weeks ago. It arrived the other day – a Pyrography machine.

As with all good tools, there is a set of enclosed safety and operational instructions. They are usually in several languages.

These instructions are in two. Chinese and English. However, given that our main language these days is English, that is our go to default. And we cannot read Chinese hyroglyphics. Our bad ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Here is the English version (note: my photo quality is equivalent to that of the translation) :

1 Pyrography machine switch.ย when used to turn on the switch, when not in use, please turn off the switch, to avoid danger.

Oh, oh ! Warning bells are starting to ring.

2. Thermostat.ย regulating pyrography pen point temperature and normal temperature regulation in the light gray areas, the red area is high temperature zone temperature adjusting pointer not transferred to the high temperature zone, zone of high temperature, high voltage, the electric heating wire brush burn red caused written premature and shorten the service life, can also quickly fuse written, and easy to cause the other components of the burn.

Huh? It seems there will be some operational issues to be aware of.

Adjustment of the electric wire pen, through the thermostat, slowly adjust voltage, looked at the electric heating wire is written grey orange red, not to be too red temperature is too high, will make pen hair is soft can not be normal painting performance declined sharply, and easy to burn out the pen head.

So avoid high temperatures…

Temperature adjustment of heat branded brush, the brush is due to heat with internal heating, so continuous heating continuity, the heat. The source of sustained and stable soft more comfortable that pyrography is more smooth, but in the use of thermal heating pen, regulating vital right. The temperature change in temperature to observe the nib, don’t make the head temperature more than 600 degrees. It will burn out the pen. Look at the pen colour to make the heating core, the only way to judge the written temperature reasonably, observe heat in the dark a little red pen is, Can not, if the temperature is very high, known as the red pen, the pen is easy to burn, in the heating core will fuse.

Temperature control is critical ?

3,4, Pyrograph socket: plug pyrograph to closely with the socket, plug is inserted into socket to the bottom, with theClose, least caused by bad parts verheating burn out here.

It can overheat?

5. Dual socket switch:ย Two pens are used interchangeably by converting switches. Not 2 pens at the same time the use of electricity. After pressing 1, the 4 socket is energised: After pressing II, the 3 socket is energised.


6. ndicator light.

7. Voltmeter:ย The voltmeter machine is to adjust the temperature temperature pyrography by adjusting the voltage value, voltage to adjust the display range 0-110V.

That’s the temperature display. Got that. But what’s the rest of this mean?

Pyrography machine note:

1) when written in. The locking head screws to pressure to the heating wire head, and to tighten, avoid written and wiring. The column is written bad, not hot, and the terminal overheating burned parts, if the terminal is not too hot, golden pen. Well, in a timely manner with a screwdriver.

I don’t get this !

2) choose to select 1mm below the heating wire as written, do not choose wire and other non heating wire material pen. First, this is very dangerous, easy to burn all the parts in the machine, and very easy to get an electric shock and fire.

No kidding?! ย Heeeeeelp……

Page two is a bit clearer. There are photos :

Pyrography instruction 1
Here the top screws to exit more than 3mm. Screw to exit this distance and then inserted into the pen head
Pyrography instruction 2
The pen foot to insert wiring inside 8mm above the pillars
Pyrography instruction 3
Use a screwdriver to tighten the screw tightening head foot! Certain top tight. No fever or fever or written is not or even sparks!!

Starting to lose it here…

Pyrography instruction 4
Good written installation does not have what symptom, the pen is not normal fever fluctuated, written sparks, copper fever, fever hot pen

Ok, now I have lost it!

TRH, being the clever retired tradie that he is, got the machine working. The house has not burnt down. Neither of us has been electrocuted. The machine still works.

However, tonight I definitely had the following symptoms – fever fluctuation, written sparks, copper fever, fever hot pen, written is not !!!!!

But again TRH came to the rescue. He fiddled and faddled with the foot, the screw driver, the written installation – and fixed it.

If anyone can read Chinese, I could send you a copy of the original instructions if you would like to practice your translation skills.

I know from personal experience that writing instructions is a tricky business at the best of times. To translate them ย – well, what can I say?!

ยฉ Raili Tanska

Steps for Peace
Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start. Anthony Bourdain

Soul Giftingย 

June 2017
Linda Bethea fromย Nutsrokย has had me in stitches many a time with the tales she tells of growing up and her family. ย Not only can she tell hilarious – and true – stories from her life with a tribe of very colourful characters. She can also pen poignant historical stories based on real life. She’s a treasure and a delight. You’re it for June, Linda – thanks!

51 thoughts on “Lost in translation

    1. Lol !! It’s a wood engraving tool with wire tips which makes it more versatile. I’m to learn how to use it without elecrocuting or burning myself ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. It three of us to assemble a standing fan in the office. It was a farce and we dismantled the wrong bits for a start.

  2. Oh my goodnes! I would have given up with that! I could see it was getting to ‘fever’ pitch at times and that the right temperature was critical but other than that not a clue!
    Thank God for clever husbands! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. You’re right, Judy. Although he managed to do it without understanding the meaning of the meaning for the burning of the written fever. We seem to have it working OK – and when I run into copper fever he douses it ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I was, with laughter, side-splitting during this throughout, Raili. When written in, in context, it was hilariously funny, hilariously so, with reverb on the opposing meaning as well as the meaning that was meant. I did wonder though, what is a Pyrography machine? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. The meaning of the meaning is for the written of the wood with a fever – in other words, it’s for wood engraving ๐Ÿ™‚ A new skill I am in the process of learning.

  4. So… you got that instead of a dremel… good thinking ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I love instructions like that. I used to collect them, and I think this is the best example pismonunciation I’ve ever seen, or at least mistranslation. Who cares if the pyrography machine works? Frame the instructions and sell them. They’re priceless, and who hasn’t had need of the following advice at some point or another: Well, in a timely manner with a screwdriver.
    Gut-achingly hilarious ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Yup! We have enjoyed them tremendously ๐Ÿ™‚ We went to a wood engraving workshop where I got to play with a wire burner. There is more flexibility with them. I just need to learn how to use it now. Got a DVD of instructions too – can’t wait to see what that is like ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Working on it. The DVD was a dud ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Nothing of any use, and most of the files unopenable. I do have another tutorial DVD for learning different techniques. I have a practice rose image that I’m using – it’s starting to develop depth ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. It sounds exciting… while you’ve been doing all that, I’ve finally sewn piece of crochet you sent me onto a piece of velvet, and put it in a frame I picked up the other day. Now all I have to do is put it – and about five other pictures – on the wall… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. why is it that wives don’t have the faith that husband knows a thing or tow about assembling a product correctly even if written instructions seem like Chinese ….

  6. You know, I’m sure these things are deliberately done to test us.
    This reminds me of the time I had a brand new table saw, which was in a kit and you had to assemble it your self. (big table saw has to be in kit form in order to get it into the house.) So, There I was, down in my cellar, trying to put this thing together and was all excited. I had all the parts laid out, all the bags of screws, nuts and bolts of varying sizes, all laid out. Then went to find the instructions………… in the box was a sheet of A4 paper with lots of writing on it and a small picture of something in the top right hand corner. Looked like some sort of warning guide…..that cant be it, so where is the manual for putting together and using it? checked the packaging 3 times over…..”They usually come as a book! They can’t help but do pages of gumf with these things !” I would tell myself. Checked the box and packaging another 3 times over. ……Then I went back to the A4 sheet in disbelief. ” it cant be this!”………… Well my jaw dropped with a thud, cos it WAS the assembly instructions. All the writing was to do with safe use and the picture was an exploded view of how the table saw goes together. The size of the picture was 4″x 4″ – it might as well have been on a postage stamp for all the good it was worth! So after a lot of huffing and swearing and moaning and lot of time wasted only helped with extra coffee breaks….I got the thing together. I’m still to this day not sure it is 100% correct, but hey, it seems to do the job alright. After looking at the manufactures web site for the table saw I read some of the reviews from previous customers. All of them have said its a great table saw but the “instructions are little small though”. Your not kidding! And that’s putting it politely!

  7. I translate books (English-Spanish and vice versa) and know a writer who does technical translations for the air industry. One can only hope they take better care of those translations. Congratulations to your husband…

  8. I wonder who supplied them with “interchangeably” for No.5! I think if I’d ordered it and had no TSH (technically savvy husband) it would still be buried in a cupboard and I’d be using a bit of wire heated in a candle. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Lol! The accompanying DVD was even worse, if that is possible. Nothing of any use or value, with a lot of files unable to be opened. Thankfully it’s a fairly simple piece of equipment.

  9. I’m just so thankful two other people asked what it was – even if it had arrived fully assembled and ready to go, I’d have probably used it to jump start the car or simething similar.

  10. Love this – I recently posted a few examples of strange translations on my blog (English as she should be spoke), but this takes the cake! Happy burning!

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