Friday, October 31, 2008

Auto-response road sign

From the BBC, via Boing Boing:

The Welsh on the bottom of this sign translates to:

"I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated."

The BBC story reports, "Swansea Council became lost in translation when it was looking to halt heavy goods vehicles using a road near an Asda store in the Morriston area...

The notice went up and all seemed well - until Welsh speakers began pointing out the embarrassing error.

Welsh-language magazine Golwg was promptly sent photographs of the offending sign by a number of its readers.

"Managing editor Mr. [Dylan] Iorwerth said: 'We've been running a series of these pictures over the past months.

"'They're circulating among Welsh speakers because, unfortunately, it's all too common that things are not just badly translated, but are put together by people who have no idea about the language.' . . .

"The blunder is not the only time Welsh has been translated incorrectly or put in the wrong place:

"Cyclists between Cardiff and Penarth in 2006 were left confused by a bilingual road sign telling them they had problems with an 'inflamed bladder.'

"In the same year, a sign for pedestrians in Cardiff reading 'Look Right' in English read 'Look Left' in Welsh.

"In 2006, a shared-faith school in Wrexham removed a sign which translated the Welsh for staff as 'wooden stave.'

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