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The Visit Mexico website is currently under construction. Photo: visitmexico.
The Visit Mexico website is currently under construction. Photo: visitmexico.

Visit México: Welcome to New Lion

The platform that seeks to promote tourism in the country fell victim to mockery and criticism after the names of several states and places were mistranslated…

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After the last update of its web page, Visit Mexico had more than a few translation problems. 

The tourism site, originally written in Spanish, was translated into English using a plug-in algorithm.

However, the programming shortcut used on the website performed the translations literally, leaving aside the interpretation of the language and voiding some grammatical rules. 

According to the RAE (Real Academia Española), the organization in charge of elaborating on the normative rules for the Spanish language, as far as translation is concerned, the way in which names were registered must be respected. 

Mexico’s tourism website didn’t take these rules into account in the new website update and, as a result, the names of several states and places were mistranslated

States, such as Guerrero or Puerto Escondido were some out of the many that suffered the consequences. Both states were mistranslated into “Warrior” and “Hidden Spot” respectively.

Reactions on social media regarding Visit Mexico's #BadEnglish was immediate.

The word “Warrior” went viral, and, in just a couple of hours, was tweeted more than 100,000 times. 

Other states and places that also suffered from mistranslation and the #BadEnglish skills of Visit Mexico were: 

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Progreso Port in Mérida became “Progress,” the Northern state of Nuevo León went to “New Lion,” and Hidalgo, which received its name after independence hero Miguel Hidalgo, became “Noble.” 

The translation issue presented by Visit Mexico is just one of the several problems that the Tourism Secretary has dealt with in recent weeks. This is after the tourism digitalization initiative presented over a year ago.

In an attempt to rejuvenate Acapulco’s tourism, the risky campaign “Mom, I’m in Acapulco” began, and, despite being an innovative, fresh and disruptive concept, the campaign was highly criticized by the people. It was erased hours after its launch.

Also, at the end of July, the platform was closed due to a “suspension for non-payment.” 

The suspension came after the Tourism Secretary skipped a payment to Braintivity, the company in charge of managing and operating the platform.

The platform remains closed with the legend “New website coming soon,” which is planned to be launched on Aug. 20.

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