Road Sign that was ‘Out of Office’

By on November 3, 2008

Motorists in Swansea had to do a double take this week when a Welsh road sign told them: “I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated”.

Unaware of the real meaning, Council officials had the Welsh text printed on the road sign under the original English, which cautions: “No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only.”

The blunder happened when the council emailed its in-house team for a translation, as all road signs in Wales have to be bilingual, only to receive a Welsh reply which they failed to realise was an automated out of office notification. They only became aware of their rather embarrassing mistake when Welsh-speakers pointed it out.

The moral of this tale; always get your translations checked by a native speaker….


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