Feb 12, 2011

E-mail error in Welsh ends up on road sign.

BBC News has just released this really funny piece of news. 

It all started when this road sign in the picture was about to be made. The officials in charge of it e-mailed the message in English to a translator in the Swansea council. As the article says, the English message is clear enough to lorry drivers who see it, but if you can read Welsh you might have noticed by now that the text below doesn't mean quite the same thing as the English text.

What actually happened was that the officials got a response to their e-mail which was written in Welsh, and thought that it was the translation that they had asked for their road sign. However, the Welsh message was actually an automatic response, and which it really said was "I am not at the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated". And that very sentence was what ended up written on the road sign to ban lorries from driving into a residential area close to a supermarket. 

I can imagine that it didn't take long for Welsh speakers to start noticing the mistake and also having some laughs at it. 
However, as the BBC News article points out, this isn't the first time that Welsh has been mistranslated or put in the wrong place. Other confusing signs that have been found before went like this:

• 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.

1 comment:

El Último Mono said...

¡Qué jartón a reír! Los galeses son tan graciosos... sobre todo los de Little Britain.

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