12 thoughts on “Translations

  1. Redundant Proofreaders Society

    This is reminiscent of the Welsh road sign that displayed an out-of-office message in Welsh, mistaken for a translation.
    Given that English is not a language native to Thailand you can understand this error. It’s not fair that native English-speakers take the mickey out of Asian misspellings. They would be of of more use if they offered to proofread menus and signs, especially in tourist areas.

    1. Mikeyfex

      Do you really think that type of thing wouldn’t or doesn’t happen between every language – in both directions?

      Has the RPS got a conscience all of a sudden? :)

      1. ReproBertie

        I was asked by a prominent (at the time, now defunct) Irish website for translations for a number of terms into Irish. One term was Log off. I suggested Log as or log amach. Sure enough the logout phrase used was “Log as or log amach”

        1. Sheikh Yahbooti

          Sounds like the guy who phoned in a cake order, and was duly supplied with a cake decorated with a topping which read “Happy Birthday or some shite like that”.

      2. Redundant Proofreaders Society


        It does happen. The slagging off of poor translations, that is.

        Some people are laughing because the Thai person messed up their English translation. I mean why can’t they speak the second most popular language in the world anyway??
        A British friend once described an incident she had with a shopkeeper while on holiday in Spain, exclaiming in a sneering tone that “she didn’t even speak English”. How very imperialist a retort but a view shared by many, that the entire world should know English.

        We once pointed out to Lonely Planet on their ‘Ultimate Signspotting’ book that the signs they were slagging off were in countries where English is not a native tongue. We were kind of surprised that a company that prided itself on visiting diverse cultures would turn around and snigger at the attempts of a Chinese-speaker to create a sign in English. Actually, more than snigger – they published it.

        Some people are laughing because the menu designer didn’t do their job. At the end of the day it’s shoddy proofreading. If we were to design a menu in Thai, we’d be damn sure to have an actual Thai speaker review it, out of respect for all of the Thai speakers that will ultimately read it and also because the internet can’t be trusted.

        And then some people are laughing because it’s a Thursday morning on Broadsheet and the sun is beating down.

        1. Mikeyfex

          I agree, the English speakers are the worst abroad. How do I know? I don’t, they’re the only ones I understand when I hear them. (But they probably are)

          I have also heard of people getting tattoos in a foreign language where the tattoo artist takes the piss with the translation. So my point was it happens between all languages. My sister lives in Melaka in Malaysia, for example, a city that the Greeks would find hilarious to the ear.

          I’m not defending the humour in all this, some are funny, some aren’t, and I agree Lonely Planet shouldn’t really get involved but it’s a thing I like about languages and I wouldn’t be so hard on English speaking people for finding a humourous mistake humourous.

          When I did my beginner’s spanish oral exam instead of saying I was 27 years old I said I had 27 butt-holes. My examiner laughed her aƱos off.

  2. The Old Boy

    There is a website called engrish.com, if you really like to sneer at people doing their best to accommodate people who expect English to be spoken in every corner of the earth.

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