When Sign Translations Go Badly Wrong|
Signs form an important, yet underrated, part of our daily lives. They direct us when we’re lost, warn us about potential dangers, and generally keep us informed about all sorts of things – from opening and closing times, to the rules and laws of the land.
These informational notices are often reproduced into multiple languages in different countries – but what happens when embarrassing translation errors occur? Brace yourself, as we take you through the ultimate hall of shame, featuring our shortlist of funny mistranslations and shockingly bad localization examples.
Brutally straight to the point
The correct translation of this Arabic sign should read: ‘Sale [of] Slaughtered Chicken’ – meaning they are not sold alive, but already killed, in accordance with Islamic law. However, the translator chose the above sentence, without knowing how to express the fact that the chickens have already been slaughtered!
A warning to all parents
This sign, believed to have been erected in India, should read: ‘Go Slow, Accident Prone Area’. However, the translator appears to have got their words mixed up – to disastrous consequences! The words ‘prone’ and ‘porn’ may sound similar to a non-native English speaker, but there is still no excuse for this.
Always remember the essentials
This unusual sign should have been translated as: ‘Just Reach Out Your Hands’ from the Spanish original language. But no, whoever translated this had other ideas, choosing to specifically remind us to bring along those all-important set of tools we were born with! Just remember to double-check that you have them with you the next time you use the restroom.
Don’t follow the rules
Talk about getting a sign badly wrong! The French to English translation should say: ‘Failure To Comply With The Rules Will Result In Exclusion’. Basically, follow the rules – or leave. Maybe at this particular swimming pool the rules don’t apply to the English speaking customers? If so, that’s very unfair on the French patrons.
Get ready for lift-off
A sign with a problem
A very special rule
A drastic career change
A mind numbing translation
Careful where you walk