Road sign problems in Wales, UK
The English portion of the sign is fine, but the Welsh underneath it reads: “I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated.” Apparently the sign makers just used what they thought was the translation but was actually an automatic email response from the translator.
When reading about this I thought to myself – how many people read Welsh anyway? (Welsh is the language spoken by many people in Wales, Great Britain). According to the Wikipedia entry, about 457,946 people can speak read and write it, so there has been a significant outcry against these poorly translated signs.
The BBC article lists some more Welsh gaffes:
• 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”.
• Football fans at a FA Cup tie between Oldham and Chasetown – two English teams – in 2005 were left scratching their heads after a Welsh-language hoarding was put up along the pitch. It should have gone to a match in Merthyr Tydfil.
• People living near an Aberdeenshire building site in 2006 were mystified when a sign apologising for the inconvenience was written in Welsh as well as English.
Time for a Welsh version of Engrish.com I suppose.
Hats off to Kevan Murphy for the tip.