sign1 sign2

On foot of our earlier appeal for carelessly spelt Irish signs, Warren McAllister offers:

Two of my favourites…


Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 13.07.02 Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 13.07.18 Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 13.07.29 Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 13.07.45

Thanks The Redundant Proofreaders Society


Leo Kavanagh adds:

Biúró? Ew. Ní dóigh liom go bhfuil aon rud cearr leis an bhfocal “oifig”.

Do you know a carelessly spelt Irish sign?

Carelessly spelt Irish signs to marked ‘Carelessly Spelt Irish Signs’.

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24 thoughts on “Ah Anseo

    1. Mé Féin

      Glad you fixed the English grammar. That costs the taxpayer a lot of money. Thankfully it is not forced down our throats like water boarding or Irish grammar.

  1. Sparks

    Even with my limited knowledge of Irish, I suspect that you would have a more manageable inbox if you asked for examples of carefully spelt Irish signs.

  2. Colin

    What about the badly translated, and often non-existent signage, in our airports and other major transport hubs for visitors? Should we be in uproar over that? Any European destination will normally, at worst, have the local language, French, Italian and Spanish. Yet Irish Rail are happy with English and Irish.

    Out of interest, how many foreign visitors of those languages do we have passing through versus people that actively speak Irish daily? Why cater to a minority with the associated cost, and neglect others?

      1. Ploika

        Unless you’re asking why Irish Rail doesn’t have signs in French etc as well as Irish, in which case that’s a very good question.

        1. Colin

          Sorry, to clarify, that is what I mean. We have extremely poor signage for visitors yet funnel money into the Irish signs & voice overs, considering at a guess 75% of the people using these services haven’t spoken it since their Leaving Cert oral (And likely at Oridinary Level anyway). I’d consider myself fairly fluent with weekly usage and sat it at Higher, so I’m hardly knocking Irish or trolling.

    1. Kolmo

      The additional ‘cost’ is minimal, Newgrange costs a bit to run, the Book of Kells also costs to keep open, as do all the Museums, National Parks etc, you know, all the stuff that makes us slightly distinctive than the next guy, keeps the world interesting wouldn’t you agree? If it was left to purely cost, we’d be a massive carrolls gift shop of a culture.

  3. Mikeyfex

    Was bringing a Turkish lad in and out to work for two months a while back. After a few weeks he turned to me and the question burst out of him.

    ‘How big is this place, Amach? Every sign point to it.’

    1. John Cassidy

      Must admit that I thought Ausfahrt was an enormous city in Germany the first time I went there. In fairness there were no motorways in Ireland at the time so my ignorance was somewhat understandable.

  4. Aunt Fló

    There’s nothing wrong with the first one. I think whoever sent that in is reading it as ‘your feet are not seats’. Literally, it’s ‘not for feet seats’ –> ‘seats not for feet’. The ‘do’ is functioning as a preposition, not a possessive pronoun.

    1. ivan

      Exactly – the word order structure thing in Irish is different to that of English. ‘Is maith liom caca milis’ is, I suppose ‘good to me is cake that is sweet’….and that’s why our turn of phrase is sometimes different to that of other folk. We’re perfectly happy to say ‘I’m after eating my dinner’ to mean ‘I’m not hungry’ (Ta me tar-eis mo dhinneir a ithe) whereas the rest of the world understands, inasmuch as it can, this to be ‘I am in pursuit of dinner…’

      funny things, languages.

  5. Funk

    It used to tickle me coming off the ferry in Dun Laoghaire a few years back.

    At the first set of lights from the ferry terminal there were two signs

    Left – ‘Dun Laoghaire’ – Town Centre
    Right – ‘Gach Treo Elie’ – All Other Routes

    All of the GB reg cars would go left, thinking they were heading to Dublin City.

    It is better now according to google earth but still a mess.

  6. Wayne Carr

    We should put the train signs in German, I agree.

    What’s the French for Leopardstown? Or Bray Daly?

  7. Cinsire

    Biúró is perfectly acceptable. It was in official use at least as far back as the late thirties. It appears in the names of dozens of current and dissolved state bodies. It’s just as English a concept as an office.

    The word ‘gníomháireamh’ isn’t likely to appear in any classic Gaelic literature because the idea is an inherently foreign one. The only reason you’re not complaining about it is because it doesn’t sound like the word ‘agency’ in English.

    1. cruinneas

      The word ‘gníomháireamh’ isn’t likely to appear in any literature. Did you make it up? Gníomhaireacht or áisíneacht (agency) might appear, however.

  8. Sinabhfuil

    What about the disappearing original names of places? Naas was Nás na Rí in Irish when I was in school; strangely, it’s now “An Nás” on road directions. Bray was Brí Chualainn; now it’s “Bré”.

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