Hysterical. The Guardian reports that the Swansea council put up a road sign that was meant to be bilingual – English and Welsh – for ‘No entry for heavy goods vehicles’. Instead they ended up with ‘Nid wyf yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd.’ Doesn’t sound Welsh enough for you? It is. Welsh for: ‘I am out of the office at the moment’!
How did the HGVs get lost in translation?
Swansea council contacted its in-house translation service when designing the bilingual sign. The seeds of confusion were sown when officials received an automated email response in Welsh from an absent translator, saying: “I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated.”
Unaware of its real meaning, officials had it printed on the sign. The council took down the sign after Welsh speakers spotted the mistake.
More reason to go back to the days in which one used a phone to hear a human voice at the other end? Hmm… excuse me while I go pick up a robocall from McCain telling me all about Hussein.