Saturday, November 08, 2008

Lost in Translation

I read this in the paper (Houston Chronicle, November 1, pg A26, to be exact). It seems that the UK wanted to put up some bilingual road signs in both English and in Welsh in Swansea, Wales. So, they sent off an e-mail to a translator. What was supposed to tell drivers that the 'road ahead wasn't suitable for heavy trucks,' turned out to say "I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated." Huh?

Well, it seems the officials didn't realize that the reply they received requesting the translation wasn't the translation, but an automatic reply telling that, uh, the guy wasn't in the office a the time and to go ahead and send the work to be translated. So, the road sign people made the sign with what was sent to them. Town Council spokesman Patrick Fletcher said that the misleading sign was being replaced.

Have you seen any oddly translated wording?

~Anna Kathryn Lanier


Hywela Lyn said...

You mean this has gone all the way to America! That's amazing. I was actually going to post this on my own blog and you beat me to it! Just shows it's not a good idea to have people working in an office in a country whose language they don't actually speak! I'll post a picture of the actual road sign in a minute!

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Thanks, Hywela. I didn't think to see if I could find a picture of the sign. Did you take the picture yourelf?