How English gets lost in translation.

Adam   Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:32 pm GMT
15 October 2006



Rachael Bletchly

*SPOKEN by more than 700 million people, English has travelled to all corners of the globe. But some of it gets scrambled along the way. A new book, Lost in Translation, has compiled some of the best, or worst, communication catastrophes. RACHAEL BLETCHLY picks out a few of her favourites...

Hotels' room for improvement

India: Welcome to Hotel Cosy: where no one is stranger

Paris: Please leave your values at the front desk.

Seoul: Third floor: Turkey Bath.

Hamburg, Germany: It is our intention to pleasure you every day.

Zurich: We have nice bath and are very good in bed.

Thailand, donkey tours: Would you like to ride on your own ass?

Baghdad: No consummation whatever may take place in the foyer.

Madrid: If you wish disinfection enacted in your presence, cry out for the chambermaid.

By a phone in a hotel room, in Amsterdam: Telephone instructions can be found on the backside.

Plane speaking

Instructions on a Korean flight: Upon arrival at Kimpo and Kimahie Airport, please wear your clothes.

Caption in Chinese in-flight magazine on a picture of a bagpiper:

A man dressed in a Scottish woollen skirt blowing air whistle.

Danish airline: We take your bags and send them in all directions.

Sick bag on a Spanish plane: Bags to be used in case of sickness or to gather remains.


Tokyo: In case of earthquake use the torch to pass yourself out.

Beijing: No smoking in bed. If it's on fire, the guests should be dispersed according to safety

Japan: In case of fire, try to use the fire exting wisher.

Driven to distraction

Petrol station, New Mexico: We will sell gasoline to anyone in a glass container

Japanese Road Sign: Stop. Drive sideways.

Outside a shop in Athens: Park one hour. Later dick dock goes the money clock.

Dangerous road surface warning in Beijing: To take notice of safe, the slippery are very crafty.

Sign on a car in Manila: Car and owner for sale.

Sign for motoring event in French Riviera: Competitors will defile themselves on the promenade at 11am and each car will have two drivers who will relieve themselves at each other's convenience.

Unhealthy language

Hong Kong dentist: Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.

On a Japanese medicine bottle: Adults, 1 tablet 3 times a day until passing away.

In office of a doctor in Rome: Specialist in women and other diseases.

Barbershop in Zanzibar: Gentlemem's throats cut with nice sharp razors.

Beauty shop in Japan: Beauty Brain's Fantastic Fannie.

Eating your words

Vienna: Fried milk, children sandwiches, roast cattle and boiled sheep.

Japan: Buttered saucepans and fried hormones

China: Mr Zheng and his fellow workers like to meet you and entertain you with hostility and unique cooking technique.

Malaysia: Seafood brought in by customers will not be entertained

Neon sign outside a restaurant in China: Smart noshery makes slobber

Hotel lobby, Bejing: Good appearance please. No watermelon.

Tested to instructions

Candle, China: Keep this candle out of children

Taiwanese room spray: Can be used at any place where needs to eliminate the stinky smell and keep fleshing surroundings all the time

Taiwanese puzzle toy: Let's decompose and enjoy assembling!

Greek deodorant stick: Push up bottom.

Fire extinguisher, Calcutta: Cease fire

For Swedish flat pack cabinet: It is advisory to be two people during assembly.

Shop soiled

Swedish furrier: Fur coats made for ladies from their own skin.

In an Israeli butcher's: I slaughter myself twice daily

Sign on Hong Kong shop closing down: Anal Clearance

Shop in Majorca: English well talking here speeching American.

Name of shop in Indonesia: 69% Perfect Shop

Paris: Dresses for street walking.

Cards handed out in front of a shop in Mexico: Come to Juan's Jewelry Shop. We won't screw you too much.

Sign language

Museum in Shanghai: Be careful to butt head on wall.

Oklahoma City (in an English-speaking country): No dumping - trespassers will be violated.

Tibet: Reception Centre for the Unorganised Tourists

On a tap in a Finnish washroom: To stop the drip, turn the cock to the right.

Sign in Tokyo - Cars will not have intercourse on this bridge

Balinese menu - Toes with butter and jam

Swimming is forbidden in the absence of the Saviour - Sign in French swimming baths

If you cannot reach a fire exit, close the door and expose yourself at the window - Finnish hotel sign

Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time - Sign in Rome laundry

Lost in Translation: Misadventures in English Abroad, by Charlie Croker (Michael O'Mara Books, £9.99).
Q   Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:14 pm GMT
>> English well talking here speeching American. <<

I wonder how well they could actually speeching American ;)