The poor state of manuals today

I know this isn’t technically a car post, however we regularly discuss the poor state of owners’ manuals today. I thought you’d all get a laugh out of these. I recently had a new treadmill delivered to my house, and these are some of the more comical comments in the owners’ manual.

  • To avoid any hurts, please read this manual before using.
  • Please stop immediately for any feeling of vomit.
  • Error may be appeared if the power is not stable.
  • Please pull up plug after using.
  • Water-drop is prohibited to run into the machine.
  • Danger may cause if wearing long dress or other unsuitable dresses during use.
  • Put away the plug from heated place or fire seat.
  • Do not disassemble the machine without conduct of professional person.

I did figure out how to assemble it… but only because I have some technical aptitude. The manual was very little help.
It also said absolutely nothing about how to adjust the belt incline… but someone without mechanical aptitude would never even realize it can be done. The manual is totally silent on the issue.
The manual is also totally silent on the operation of the machine.

The machine I like. It’s the most quiet I’ve ever been on (I’ve used a few in cardiac Rehab) and very easy to operate… once you figure out how to.

Anyway, I thought you all would get a chuckle out of some of the included “instructions”.


Is the manual bigger & weigh more than then the machine itself. The manual for my cell phone was about 5 time’s bigger than the phone.

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Hey SMB, might want to edit heading :wink:

Thought at first, man US in LA, I avoided LA, Do not have links, but I have read some bad manuals also, How to diffuse a bomb,

  1. cut the black wire
  2. after first cutting the red wire.
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I’ll try to figure out how…
I proofed the text, knowing that errors would undermine my quotes, but never proofed the heading!

It’s tiny. But at least large enough to read. My cellphone manual has tiny, tiny text in broken English. I can’t figure that one out either.

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Whatever, keep going with the treadmill. We want you alive and well, and the exercise will help.

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It is ok, let the first to take a sliver out of your eye remove the log from theirs first.:sunglasses:

Sincere thanks. My kids in particular, and my longtime ladyfriend, are thrilled that I bought it.
I’m hoping it’ll help my recently-diagnosed atelectasis (partial lung collapse). Time will tell.

And here I thought we were going to have a discussion about manual transmissions!

Often times we tell people to RTFM (read the freakin’ manual) but I’ve found that doing so can cause more confusion than figuring it out yourself.

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Just think back on the times you have found, tested and replaced a bad fuse faster than you could find the right page in the owners manual @asemaster?

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I wish the manuals were as good as the advice! :rofl:

I’ve noticed that too. Some – like your examples – are much worse than others. I recently assembled a tire mounting machine, and the instructions said at one point tightening the bolts would “push the beams apart” when “pull the beams together” is what they meant. Like your experience, the final result was great, very well made, just the manual was poorly/inaccurately worded. You’d think the manufacturer would pay someone to do an good translation. The must sell thousands of those machines, so a manual translation fee couldn’t add much to the retail price.

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I thought it was a country or something, but yeah those manuals written in China are a hoot. What they do now is eliminate the words and just give you pictures instead. Trying to read the directions on a bag of tile thin set and all there was were pictures and you had to guess what they were. Luckily not my first rodeo but I do like to read directions.

Reminds me of when the wife ordered her treadmill though. It came in when she was gone so I had to go pick it up at the freight company dock. I don’t know what it weighed but I’ll guess 150# or so. Then I had to get it off the trailer and into the house, then up a flight of stairs by myself. Who needs a treadmill after exercise like that. Main thing is you don’t want to be below the thing on the stairs if it lets loose.

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Must be poor translation to English from the language where the item was manufactured, like Bing said. We bought my son a cheap little atv for Christmas a couple of years ago. I’m not sure if it was made in China or Korea. I actually read the owners manual out loud to my wife for fun. It was translated to English so poorly, it was humorous. I don’t remember any exact quotes offhand, but I do seem to recall the words “carburetor” and “Baptist” in the same sentence.


This is all reminiscent of the Owner’s Manual that came with my brother’s '67 Datsun SPL-311.
The manual was obviously translated from Japanese by somebody who had only a very, very brief acquaintance with the English language. But, as bad as the manual was, that POS Datsun was far worse!

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See, I figured you did it on purpose, like when Strunk and White wrote the Elements of Style and said “The subject of a sentence and the principal verb should not, as a rule, be separated by a phrase or clause that can be transferred to the beginning.”


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I had a Honda Z600; (The 2 cylinder aircooled predecessor to the Civic). The owner’s manual stated that when encountering a pedestrian on the roadway, one should tootle one’s horn trumpet. I still do.

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I figured out how to fix the title… :grinning:

If only the pictures (technical diagrams) were larger than two postage stamps…
and if only they have reference links to some textual descriptions of what the parts are.

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