N – Lust in translation

The prestigious Max Planck Society has apologised after using calligraphy on the cover of a special China issue of its flagship magazine that turned out to advertise a Hong Kong strip club. The institute replaced the cover, which advertises “hot, young housewives,” of the online and English edition of Max Planck Forschung but not before the German language version had been sent. The institute said that the Chinese text “had been chosen by our editorial office . . . To our sincere regret, however, it has now emerged that the text contains deeper levels of meaning, which are not immediately accessible to a non-native speaker.” (www.smh.com.au/news/home/technology/how-eminent-science-mag-got-hit-for-sex/2008/12/11/1228584998876.html, 11 Dec 2008, “Eminent scientific journal gets hit for sex”)

Thanks to Trish Groves