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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Evidence that it's always worth checking ...

(IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD THIS STORY BEFORE, YOU PROBABLY HAVE: Stan has pointed out that it happened in 2008, but it's still on the 'most-read' list on the BBC website.  I can see why it's had a long life ..... )


Sign makers in Swansea sent an email to a translator at Swansea Council, asking for the English to Welsh translation for a no entry message to be put on a sign.  They got a message back straight away, bunged it on a sign under the English version, and hurried along to put up the sign.



Mis-translated bilingual road sign

The only thing is  .. the Welsh translation says, "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated".


Here's the story, for as long as the link lasts ...

25 comments:

  1. I noticed this in the BBC's most-popular-stories corner and thought: Again? But it was the same story, i.e. from 2008. Still funny, though.

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  2. That's so good. I hope it's true. I wish I knew some Welsh and could verify it.

    While eating my sandwich at my desk, I discovered to my horror that your daughter has a blog too. How interesting. But I do not have time to read blogs. I'm marking. Here I go.

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  3. I saw this story, but I'm not allowed to say any more impolite things about Welsh or my ma will disown me.

    But you know I'm THINKING impolite things, don't you ...?

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  4. Stan - so it was! 2008! And there's me thinking it happened yesterday and I was all up to date and zeitgeisty-news-person. Sigh.

    Isabelle - I think you'll find she's trashed the blog - too busy studying Japanese - so carry on marking. She was funny, though. I wish she hadn't stopped.

    Moptop - no, don't even THINK it! Bah! Too late.

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  5. I love this, this is another instance of cyberstuff getting its knickers on the wrong way round.

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  6. Ummm... I wonder how long it took for the error to be spotted? When I lived there not many people seemed to speak Welsh. I suggested to the local Headmistress that maybe they should teach Chinese instead, to facilitate international trade. She actually COULD speak Welsh, and I didn't need a translator to get the gist of her answer.

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  7. Yes, Friko - it seems that cybermistakes are just so much quicker to make and therefore so much more disastrous.

    Annie - Have you ever thought of going into the diplomatic service?

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  8. Ha ha! I'd like a sign like that outside my house. "No cold callers, no bible bashers, no political canvassers. Please pick up your own litter."

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  9. Steve - my favourite sign outside a house is the one that says, 'My Rottweilers are lovely, but beware of the wife and kids.'

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  10. I remember this story, so funny. I have Welsh ancestry so wish I could read it :-)

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  11. Eliza - if you can get hold of an ancestor and confirm the translation I'd be pleased to hear it.

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  12. NOOOOOOOOO... seriously? Oh my Lord. I LOVE that!

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  13. Talli - it's a good one, there's no doubt about it.

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  14. Yep, seen it before. Probably true (did start learning Welsh as I live here, but haven't really continued - hard to get the old tongue around rolled Rs*, phlegmy ch's, and various other strange sounds in just one word, as they do...) but since it first appeared, B and I have contemplated all sorts of interesting mistranslations that could be bunged up on signs...

    *you know what I could have typed there, don't you?

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  15. As an aside, don't know if you've come across it, but this is a site you might like, in which people write letters to fictional characters...

    http://letterswithcharacter.blogspot.com/

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  16. Thanks, Val. Loved the site. Have signed up! Couldn't resist.

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  17. Too funny, Fran! This reminds me that I should really do something about taking pictures of French signage where English words have been used inappropriately. Why are they so in love with Americanisms???

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  18. I discovered this recently too! (the sign mix up article). So funny. Though exactly the sort of thing I do. I work from home and i accidentally pressed print on my entire inbox the other day. Someone at work rang me up to ask why I was printing every email in my inbox (and since I never clear out my inbox that is a LOT).

    BG

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  19. Christie - I thought so too!

    Deborah - please do, and post the pictures. I want to know what Americanisms.

    Billygean - I thought I heard a rainforest crash to the ground the other day. Now I know why.

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  20. Ahahahaha! I think this is what the kids refer to as an epic fail:)

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  21. Alexandra - and they'd be right!

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  22. This is a great story.

    XX

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  23. Suzanne - so good, I've just squeezed it into my next column for the Times Educational Supplement. It's called 're-adapting your material' or something like that.

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