Masahiro Tanaka: The art of mistranslation

Adam Pretty

Baseball fans are getting desperate for him to sign with a team.

For a short time Tuesday, it appeared as though Masahiro Tanaka had chosen which Major League Baseball team he would sign with after he tweeted the following:

In a world of Twitter and Google translate, that tweet took off. According to Google, "決めれん" means "Do is decide" which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Of course, with the excitement generated by Tanaka it's not hard to get from that to thinking the more natural translation is "It is decided." That's exactly what Twitter thought, for about 20 minutes.

Then, finally, someone came in with an actual translation. What Tanaka actually said was "Can't decide," which is the total opposite of what everybody first thought. Tanaka wasn't even talking about baseball in his tweet. No, what Tanaka was actually referring to was what fan-nominated picture he would use as his Twitter avatar.

I'd like to think Tanaka knew what he was doing and just wanted to rile up English-speakers eagerly awaiting his signing with a MLB team. He has three more days to come to an agreement and that's probably a good thing. Any longer than that and who knows what mistranslations people will come up with.

More from SB Nation MLB:

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Masahiro Tanaka and the art of mistranslation

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Five teams make formal offers to Tanaka | AL tracker | NL tracker

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