Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lost in translation

On such a momentous and tense day I imagine we could all use a laugh, eh?

Here's a road sign from Wales.

The Welsh part of the sign is obviously supposed to say the same thing as the English part.

What it actually says is "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated".

The moral of this story is that if you get an email back from your translation department in a language you do not understand, you should probably have someone check it for you before you make your expensive sign.

(From the BBC)


  1. amen sister!
    thanks for the link love!

  2. See the problems inherent in bilingualism?. Everyone should speak English

    (JOKE, for all the scary angry Welsh and Quebecois people out there)

  3. *giggle* in all honesty, it's not THAT hard to decipher a bit of Welsh to figure out that was totally wrong.

  4. I'm just amazed that none of the people who signed off on the wording, made the sign, then delivered and installed it, picked up on the mistake... you'd think there'd be at least one Welsh speaker somewhere along that chain!

  5. The Welsh speakers were probably laughing too hard to stop it... Honestly, though, how can you live in Wales without picking up enough to know that "nid wyf" means "I'm not" and realize that has no business being on the sign?

  6. It might mean that. Having travelled extensively in Wales, I think they make their language up as they go along.

    Last time I saw 'nyd wyf' the sign pointed to a public toilet. Possibly it was art.

  7. Maybe we're all overestimating the intelligence of local government workers?

    Lunar, that may or may not be true, but they definitely do switch to Welsh when an English person comes in. This suspicion was confirmed by an English-sounding friend who lived in Wales from the age of 13-18 and knows enough of the language to understand that some very very mean things were said about us in one particular pub!


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