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Everyone’s laughing at Mindef “poke eye” dress code (with civets)

Thu 2012-Jan-5 @ +08 15:31:03 pm

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To be fighting fit, officers and staff of the ministry of defence must fight foxes, or fight mongooses on Thursday. They must wear garments of ethics. “Clothes that poke eye” are not allowed. However, Shine closed is allowed.

Mindef is being buffeted by gales of laughter on the Internet today as Twitter and Facebook spread the good word about the mangled English translation of the official dress code for officers and staff.

Mindef didn’t find it at all funny, though. They removed the page about an hour later, replacing it with the Malay page and a notice that “there are no translations available”.

» The machine English translation before it disappeared

The dress code says officers and staff must wear “ethical clothing” — but at the same time “the dress code is not allowed in the work”.

“Ethical clothing” was required (although there was no code of ethics that the clothes must follow). However, the clothes must not be party-going or picnic-going types.

Every Thursday is “mongoose fight” day for those not in uniform. “Mongoose fight” clothing is also for attending “official functions that do not require the use of certain types of clothing”.

Men must wear shirts that are “tight Malay civet berbutang three” or five civets; with long pants but sleeves not folded, and shirts included. Women must wear appropriate clothing “worn neatly and politely in line with the practice of noble character”

It’s bad enough that statements by the defence minister himself are much of a joke, but the dress code translation is hilarious. Read it for yourself:

Dress code, in English | | Original in Malay

What it means

“Shine closed” — Kasut bertutup

“Clothes that poke eye” — Pakaian yang menjolok mata

“Mongoose fight” — baju batik lengan panjang berkolar / cekak musang

The mistranslations may have come through machine translation — but only portions of it were obviously from Google Translate, if at all.

Google makes it worse

What you must wear:

Have some dark matter

Malaysian foxes only

Fight the foxes

Women must have brackets

A final word

Screenshots of Google Translate

  1. Thu 2012-Jan-5 @ +08 16:31:20 pm 16:31

    FB Page for those interested in this topic! DW it ain’t spam peeps! Only in Malaysia! Malaysi Boleh!

  2. nstman permalink
    Thu 2012-Jan-5 @ +08 17:11:36 pm 17:11

    These morons are murdering and raping the english language. Meanwhile, schools are producing record numbers of straight A students. In last year’s PMR, nearly 40,000 got straight As. Also record numbers are getting As in English. No wonder our standard of English has surpassed that of Myanmar

  3. draken permalink
    Thu 2012-Jan-5 @ +08 19:18:47 pm 19:18

    Should we point our fingers at Zahid Hamidi for not shooting straight?

  4. Suzanne permalink
    Thu 2012-Jan-5 @ +08 20:17:37 pm 20:17

    even if they meant ‘kasut bertutup’ that would be shoe closed, not shine!

  5. google-translator permalink
    Thu 2012-Jan-5 @ +08 22:37:09 pm 22:37

    IMHO, there was a tech glitch on the website which google-translated those Malay language sentences into absurd English. That should explain ‘There are no translation available’ appeared on top of the page. Don’t laa so fast jump into conclusion. They just need to hire a better programmer.

  6. freeyellowman permalink
    Fri 2012-Jan-6 @ +08 14:24:02 pm 14:24

    Women must have brackets
    – shirt with parentheses

    maybe they meant this….

    /( )\
    / ) ( \
    ( )

  7. freeyellowman permalink
    Fri 2012-Jan-6 @ +08 14:26:56 pm 14:26


  8. my_osaurus permalink
    Fri 2012-Jan-6 @ +08 15:15:12 pm 15:15

    They are ploying with the idea of putting the entire nation into uniforms a la Mao Tze Tung. That would be a big clothing/button contract!

  9. Fri 2012-Jan-6 @ +08 17:31:14 pm 17:31

    so funny

  10. Malaysian permalink
    Sun 2012-Jan-8 @ +08 15:12:40 pm 15:12

    in most government department, even the director general cannot speak English

  11. Pak Tua permalink
    Tue 2012-Jan-10 @ +08 17:22:31 pm 17:22

    Well it must be good enough for the non English speaking minister.

  12. Suzanne Omar permalink
    Sun 2012-Jan-15 @ +08 17:35:08 pm 17:35

    As we pride ourselves being Malaysians and learning English as a second language, it is therefore a total farce and an embarrassment to all that this sort of language is used and even published. As of now we are a laughing stock and I for one won’t blame anyone for ROTFL laughing. The problem, as i see it is the Education system here that is like a yo-yo. In the first place , we should have stuck with the learning system after Independence for it had worked educating us using the British English Language. Even the trishaw pullers or the estate workers were able to speak English. Now after umpteen times of changing the system and in the event making some people richer due to the added books and supposedly educating us Malaysians by reinventing and upgrading the so called system.But in the end We fall back on our faces and become project fools and guinea pigs
    alive. We must realize now that we are making a mistake and it is the children who will suffer. WAKE UP PLEASE!!! Our standard of ENGLISH is unacceptable abroad. Does this not make ANYONE wonder WHY? We waste too much time on individual affairs and gossips and not enough is being done to help our children. What A Shame and A DISGRACE.

  13. Suzanne Omar permalink
    Sun 2012-Jan-15 @ +08 17:45:25 pm 17:45

    And furthermore, action must be taken towards all that was involve in this farce. It is totally demeaning and an example should be set so that a lesson is well learned. Military Men , I do wonder what u have to say about this. the way I see it All are responsible. “CLOTHES THAT POKE THE EYE” ….indeed


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  2. Mindef Translation vs Proper English | BJ Thoughts…
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  4. Malaysia: Ministry Blames Google Translate for Website Errors :: Elites TV

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