Bad week for Mexican tourism crowned with translation errors

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It’s been a bad week for Promotion of Mexican tourism, and it got worse on Friday when the English version of the country’s tourism website appeared with hilarious translation errors.

Entire states like Hidalgo and Guerrero have apparently been translated automatically as “Noble” and “Warrior”.

Worse for the VisitMexico.com site, there has been a systematic and inexplicable reinvention of the names of some fairly well-known tourist towns. The Caribbean resort town of Tulum has in a way become “Jumpsuit”. The neighboring Bacalar Lagoon on the Caribbean coast has been transferred to the state of Tabasco on the Gulf Coast.

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The snafu came a day after the US Department of State cited the high number of COVID-19 cases in Mexico for issuing a “do not travel” advisory for the country, its highest level of warning. Hours earlier, the resort town of Acapulco was forced to remove “anything goes” tourist ads that showed people partying without masks and the words “there are no rules”.

But VisitMexico.com’s issues sparked howls of hilarity – and anger. The resort town of Puerto Escondido on the Pacific coast has become “Hidden Port”, a literal translation, and the northern town of Torreon has become “Turret”, which is quite close.

Some name changes were simply inexplicable and seemed to have as much to do with invention as a simple translation. The central Mexican city of Aculco became something of “I Blame” and Ciudad Madero on the northern Gulf Coast became “Log”.

“Stop making Mexico look ridiculous!” “Wrote former president Felipe Calderón on his Twitter account.

Mexico’s tourism department issued a statement apologizing for the seemingly outsourced errors, but then gave the impression that something sinister had been involved.

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“The tourism department expresses its sincere apologies to the public and users for the effects that have occurred on the VisitMexico website,” the statement said. “In addition, we make it known that these acts are intended to damage the image of the site and the department, and therefore a criminal complaint has been filed and appropriate legal proceedings will be initiated against those responsible. “

The ministry did not explain the claim, but local media reported that the dispute could involve an angry web service provider not getting paid.

Officials on Thursday removed a pair of video ads from Acapulco touting the faded resort’s reputation as a nightclub spot – despite nightclubs currently being closed to enforce social distancing. They said the ads were inappropriate during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We stopped being a postcard of the past, today we changed the rules,” says a narration in one of the videos. “Actually, there are no rules,” said another voice, as you can see people eating weird meals and going out to nightclubs. “Eat what you want, have fun day and night and into the early hours … find new friends and new loves.”

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