1 Nov 2008
The Welsh-language text in the sign above reads, “I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated.”
Well, you can probably guess what happened:
When officials asked for the Welsh translation of a road sign, they thought the reply was what they needed.
Unfortunately, the e-mail response to Swansea council said in Welsh: “I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated”.
So that was what went up under the English version which barred lorries from a road near a supermarket.
“When they’re proofing signs, they should really use someone who speaks Welsh,” said journalist Dylan Iorwerth.
Swansea Council became lost in translation when it was looking to halt heavy goods vehicles using a road near an Asda store in the Morriston area.
All official road signs in Wales are bilingual, so the local authority e-mailed its in-house translation service for the Welsh version of: “No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only”.
The reply duly came back and officials set the wheels in motion to create the large sign in both languages.
The notice went up and all seemed well – until Welsh speakers began pointing out the embarrassing error.
Right on Pennsylvania!
November 4th, 2008 at 22:46permalink
Yeah…. this is something of a comedy of errors. If the out of office was only in the Welsh langauge, it was probably only a matter of time before something like this happened. But at the same time, the translator might be forgiven for thinking that an out of office reply is obvious, no matter what language it’s in. If the reply is almost instantaneous, chances are that it’s automated. However good a translation agency is, it’s not going to get the text back to you in less than five seconds.
June 27th, 2011 at 04:55permalink
Good point. You’re right! The instant reply should have been their first clue.
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