Sometimes things can go a bit wrong…
Please note: This is a translation of the Swedish original. Most of the images are only really funny if you actually understand Swedish, and I am normally better at joking in Swedish (although some of my acquaintances believe I am bad at joking in any language). Anyway, by popular demand (okay, so it was only Tarquin, but I hear he is popular), here is the English translation. And with that disclaimer, we have lift-off.
Sometimes computers can be boring contraptions, but sometimes they manage to crack real pearls. Sometimes it is real howlers, either a software author or a stressed out translator (I have personally contributed to both categories in my days), sometimes they are well-meant messages that just are wrong when applied to another situation than the one it was originally written for.
On this page I have collected some funny dialogues, error messages, and similar, that I have stumbled upon in different programs and web sites. All the messages on this page are authentic!
If you are unable to see the images on this page it might be because your
browser does not support
<object>, which I use to be
able to provide versions of the messages for text based browsers.
In that case, you can use the Download screenshot links to see the
dialogues in their original shape.
The page works as intended in
as well as text based browsers like
Speaking of displaying this page in a web browser, I have learned that the Mac version of Internet Explorer doesn‘t like it at all, even less than the Windows version. This error message greets you if you try to open the page. Hehe.
I am not alone in collecting this kind of images, so I have collected a bunch of links to similar pages. If you have more link tips, I would appreciate hearing from you.
Feel free to share this page on Facebook or other services.
“Certificates can be exported in an abundance of different formats”, this dialogue says… Well, I don’t really think they have that many available options, but maybe Microsoft has another definition of “abundance” (uppsjö) than I do?
Google, on the other hand, is an abundance in itself. Or at leaset they think so themselves, when I installed Google Chrome I had the choice of choosing both Google and Google as my search engine:
Back to Microsoft, there are not only one, not two, but three
Internet Explorer logotypes in the dialogue that is to let the user
choose a web browser in Windows 7.
Additionally the dialogue title contains
Windows Internet Explorer
– so much for neutrality.
By the way, who translated the Maxthon ad? I hope he or she wasn't paid.
“You must be running a version of Microsoft Windows to be able to
use Windows Update.”
But I am doing just that!
It seems like Windows Update trusts what is sent in the
User-Agent header in the web browser request a bit
too blindly, at the moment I had happened to configure my proxy server to
pretend a bit…
Windows Update is full of surprises. Normally you get to choose whether you want to accept Microsoft‘s license terms for the updates that are to be installed or not, but today it seems like I only have one choice: To accept.
Windows Update is going downhill fast. Now the poor updater has gone completely bonkers and is just sending out unreadable gibberish. (For some reason, the description of this update was in Finnish instead of Swedish.)
In 2018, my Gemini PDA does a similar thing, giving me update information in Chinese.
Sometimes you wonder a bit over Microsoft’s quality control, when the security update isn’t even to tell what version of Windows it is I am running.
When I try to go to SF Bio’s website to search for information about upcoming movies, I am greeted by a warning that I am not using a web browser that their website is adapted for. But… they claim they support Opera, and it is Opera I am running. Oh well, it’s probably just a web-duh-signer who can’t leave things alone that has been at it and pretend-coded again. It’s a good thing I live in Oslo, their web pages work just fine in Opera.
The Opera web browser has for some time had a function which checked if there is a new version, and notifies the user if so is the case. In Opera 9.00 this functionality was a bit broken, and did not think that 9.01 was a newer version number. Since the update was important the version was reported as 90.0 when the error was discovered, which looked a bit funny. The mistake was corrected as soon as it was found, but since version 9.01 was already released at that time, Opera 9.02 was also reported incorrectly, which of course looked even worse, Opera did know the bug, why then had it not been fixed?
The pages for the US postal office is not much better, they think that I should upgrade my Opera 7 to “Opera 5 or better”. I have heard that Americans aren’t too bright when it comes to mathematics, but I would have thought that most people would get that 7 is larger than 5?
If you press [Cancel] when downloading system updates from the Microsoft Windows Update service you get a warning message, which is not too easy to understand. So, I want to cancel the transfer, but if I press [Cancel] in the new dialogue I am returned to the download. Eh? The trick is apparently not to press [Cancel] a second time to confirm that you want to cancel the transfer, but instead to select [OK] “to continue” — clear as glass!
This screenshot also shows the problem with having an operating system in one languaeg and programs in another – the computer I ran this on has a Norwegian version of the operating system, but since my mother tongue is Swedish, I have set that as my preferred language.
Not only is it an yntax error, it is even an invalid yntax error. Internet Explorer apparently doesn’t like me entering an adress on the form hostname:port.
Here is an old screenshot from 1998 showing a machine at Microsoft running Red Hat Linux.
The then (2003) new version of Konqueror gave me a welcoming message, which, trying to be extra user friendly, points out where I am to enter my search text. But they apparenlty didn’t think that people might have set the program to show the address bar at the bottom of the window (which I find more logical since that is where the eyes rest when I have finished reading the page, which is when I want to enter a new one).
Seven years later it is Opera that stumbles on the the same issue, in its welcoming message. It seems that the only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn from history.
The Swedish translation of MetaPad, an excellent replacement to the Windows Notepad, has a Swedish translation which has a few bugs in it, most of them are less important. One dialogue that I found particularly funny is this one, which has sort of mixed up this thing about upper case (versaler) and lower case (gemener) letters.
On my mobile phone/palmtop P800 I have installed a file manager called QFileManager, with which I can see the files that are stored on it directly, and change attributes and such. But not when the files are used, then I get this rather confusing dialogue:
But it is of course not only on mobile phones you get this kind of less obvious choices, like here in a dialogue from the Disk Manager in Windows NT 4.0.
When I switched mobile phones I also had to install a new version of the software I use to connect it to my computer. After the required reboot this message showed up. I answered “no”, and after that it seems to work anyway.
Same software, but a different computer. No errors in the configuration this time, but on the other hand I am not allowed to know what the next step in the process is. Perhaps that is why it didn’t work after installing?
At my day job, we use a web based calendaring service. I tried getting to a meeting I should have been invited to, but where I was unable to find the invitation, and instead was handed a direct link to the calendaring file. So, I saved the calendaring file from the service and tried importing it. I was met with the following message. Do I need to say that it didn’t work?
I like services that have Swedish translation, but it is not always that they get more intelligible because of that. Take for instance this error message I got from Google once – I wonder what the server was doing when it unexpectedly encountered an error like that.
But this is kind of a border-line case, the translation is correct, it just looks a bit strange. A bit later on I got the message in English.
This strange wording is found in Sun’s installation program for Java. If this is an error, why is it then asking me whether I want to install it?
Another strange error message from Sun’s installation program for Java, this time it was an automatic update that failed.
Facebook want me to update my contact information, but it is not that easy to understand with what. Is it my e-mail address or phone number I should enter, and why can they not keep to one language at a time?
I like to have software in Swedish, but sometimes it turns out a bit wrong, even when the author of the software is from Sweden. In the latest version of the #Kom LysKOM client it seems to be a bad thing to have friends. Or maybe the author hast just missed that the Swedish word for "tab" is "flik" and not "tabbe" ("blunder").
What happens when you try to go to Microsoft’s homepage with the version of Internet Explorer that comes with NT 4.0? At least last time I tried I got the following error message, which means that the only way to upgrade to a working version (to run Windows Update) was to first install, for instance, Opera. Microsoft doesn’t support NT 4.0 any longer, so I don’t know if you can even get this far today.
Just for fun I tired selecting
MSN in the
Open With menu in
Since I hadn’t run the MSN web browser shell before, I got a settings
wizard, but it doesn’t look like it quite could decide what it is it
is trying to set up.
Making web interfaces available in several languages is a good thing. And if you actually translate the texts, it is even better. And, if you really do not want to, please fall back to something other than the internal variable names.
They are not the only one to make that mistake...
There are even more of them, actually. This one is from Swedish rail company TÃ¥gkompaniet:
Last time all links were checked: 2009-01-16