I just want to re-highlight the lost in translation issue that was brought up by some people over FB and Twitter and I came across this in one NST couple days ago. It all started after a guide on dress code (translated as ‘ethical clothing’) for Defence Ministry staff was posted on the ministry’s official website. The English translation provided for the circular dress code was very literal, even showed usage of translation programme. From what I've read, the ministry has withdrawn the circular and promised to make some amendments.
"Clothes that poke eye" is a literal translation to "pakaian menjolok mata". It's better to be translated to "inappropriate clothes in government office" or maybe "informal clothes are not allowed". There were other amusing phrases as well like “long-sleeve batik shirt with collar / mongoose fight made in Malaysia” and “shine closed” appeared in the post. The former defines ‘baju batik lengan panjang berkolar / cekak musang buatan Malaysia‘ while the latter ‘kasut bertutup’ (closed-toe shoes). Based on what I've learned years ago when I took translation courses for 2 semesters, some special names like special clothes shouldn't be translated because you can't find the equivalent in English. So, "baju Melayu cekak Musang" shouldn't be translated as it just created a weird translation! You can only provide the descriptions of the clothes or better with the photo of the clothes.
Let's hope that the other ministries would be more careful to post or provide any information on their websites. It's not good to be the laughable stock on the social networks. They can find more credible translators because we do have good translators in Malaysia. If not why don't they use those from "Institut Terjemahan Negara Malaysia". They have the expertise in translation.