Here’s a brief postscript to the recent post on pedestrian crossings:
Wales has to put up all road signs in two languages. Even though almost everyone speaks English and just over 20% of the people speak Welsh, both are official languages–and sometimes they run into translation problems.
In 2006, they put up this sign, meant to tell people, in both languages, to look right.
Unfortunately, the Welsh reads “look left”.
Then last October, government employees who needed to erect a sign warning truck drivers not to enter a residential area, sent off an email message to a translator, asking how the Welsh version of the sign should read. They got an answer back and the sign was duly manufactured. You can see from the picture what it says in English.
In Welsh, it reads “I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated”.
Well, it could happen to anybody, really, couldn’t it?
Read the full stories at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_west/4605768.stm and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7702913.stm