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Rather than fill our blog page with dry or technical talk about translations, our colleague Carolina had the great idea to post examples of bad (and sometimes very funny!) translations in English.

We hope you enjoy reading them - and please feel free to email us any examples you come across to include in our next posting!

 Posted: 10 October 2013

These mistranslations have been doing the rounds for years, but it's always fun to read them again, once in a while, as they always manage to raise a giggle.

Some classic mistranslations from all around the world...


In an Italian cemetery:

            PERSONS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PICKING FLOWERS FROM ANY BUT THEIR OWN GRAVES.

 

Hotel brochure, Italy:

THIS HOTEL IS RENOWNED FOR ITS PEACE AND SOLITUDE. IN FACT, CROWDS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD FLOCK HERE TO ENJOY ITS SOLITUDE.

 A sign seen on an automatic restroom hand dryer in Germany:

            DO NOT ACTIVATE WITH WET HANDS.

On the grounds of a private school in Scotland:

            NO TRESPASSING WITHOUT PERMISSION.

Taken from a menu, Poland:

SALAD A FIRM'S OWN MAKE; LIMPID RED BEET SOUP WITH CHEESY DUMPLINGS IN THE FORM OF A FINGER; ROASTED DUCK LET LOOSE; BEEF RASHERS BEATEN IN THE COUNTRY PEOPLE'S FASHION.

On a poster in Sydney :

            ARE YOU AN ADULT THAT CANNOT READ? IF SO, WE CAN HELP.

In a New Zealand restaurant:

            OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, AND WEEKENDS TOO.

On a highway sign in Australia:

            TAKE NOTICE: WHEN THIS SIGN IS UNDER WATER; THIS ROAD IS IMPASSABLE.

Sign over the information booth in a Beijing railroad station:

            QUESTION AUTHORITY

A paragliding site near Beijing has a sign that reads:

            SITE OF JUMPING UMBRELLA.

The box of a clockwork toy made in Hong Kong:

            GUARANTEED TO WORK THROUGHOUT ITS USEFUL LIFE.

Translated from Japanese to English and included in the instructions for a soap bubble gun:

            WHILE SOLUTION IS NOT TOXIC IT WILL NOT MAKE CHILD EDIBLE.

Tokyo hotel's rules and regulations:

 GUESTS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO SMOKE OR DO OTHER DISGUSTING BEHAVIORS IN BED.

In a Nairobi restaurant:

CUSTOMERS WHO FIND OUR WAITRESSES RUDE OUGHT TO SEE THE MANAGER.

Hotel room notice, Chiang-Mai, Thailand:

PLEASE DO NOT BRING SOLICITORS INTO YOUR ROOM

In a South African maternity ward:          

NO CHILDREN ALLOWED.

 In a restaurant window:

            "DON'T STAND THERE AND BE HUNGRY. COME ON IN AND GET FED UP."

 Sign at a butcher's shop:

            Well-hung meat (aged?)

From Turkish dating agency ad:

"I look really for want to fantasia and good friendly! I think so to many fantasia with you! If you thijnk same, you can send to message! I wait you! Please!."

A sign in a Swiss hotel:

"Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose."

 

A sign at a Thai donkey ride:

"Would you like to ride on your own ass?"

 

In a laundry in Rome:

"Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time."

 

From a letter in response to an inquiry about accommodation:

"Dear Madam: I am honorable to accept your impossible request. Unhappy it is, I have not bedroom with bath. A bathroom with bed I have. I can though give you a washing, with pleasure, in a most clean spring with no one to see. I insist that you will like this."

 

A sign in a Paris hotel:

"Please leave your values at the front desk"

 

 In a Bangkok dry cleaner's:

"Drop your trousers here for best results"

 

A sign in a hotel across the street from a Soviet cemetery:

"You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday."

 

A sign in a Japanese hotel:

"You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid."

 From a European holiday brochure:

"Having freshly taken over the propriety of this notorious house, I am wishful that you remove to me your esteemed costume. Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a french window in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. I give personal look to the interior wants of each guest. Here, you shall be well fed-up and agreeably drunk. Our charges for weekly visitors are scarcely creditable. Peculiar arrangements for gross parties, our motto is ever serve you right!"

 

In a Yugoslav hotel:

"The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid"

 

From the brochure of a Tokyo car rental firm:

"When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor"

 

From a sign outside of Roman doctor's office:

"Specialist in women and other diseases"

 

On the door of a Moscow hotel room:

"If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it"

 

A sign in a Tokyo hotel:

"Is forbidden to steal towels please. If you are not a person to do such thing is please not to read notis"

 

Instructions in a Belgrade elevator:

"To more the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order."

 

Outside a Paris dress shop:

"Dresses for streetwalking"

 A sign in a Norwegian cocktail lounge:

"Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar"

 

In a Rhodes tailor shop:

"Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation."

 

A sign over an Osaka, Japan pet store:

"Fondle dogs"

 

A sign in a Bucharest hotel lobby:

"The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable."

 

From an advertisement by a dentist in Hong Kong:

"Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists"

 

A sign posted in Germany's Black Forest:

"It is strictly forbidden on our Black Forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose."

 

Sign in an Athens hotel:

"Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 AM daily"

 How a sewage treatment plant was marked on a Tokyo map: 

"Dirty Water Punishment Place"

 

Sign in an Acapulco hotel:

"The manager has personally passed all the water served here"

 

Poster in a Tokyo bar:

"Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts"

 

From a response to an inquiry about accommodation:

"I am amazingly diverted by your entreaty for a room. I can offer you a commodious chamber with balcony imminent to the romantic gorge, and I hope that you want to drop in. A vivacious stream washes my doorsteps, so do not concern yourself that I am not too good in bath, I am superb in bed."

 

Sign in a Leipzig elevator:

"Do not enter lift backwards, and only when lit up"

 

Sign in an Austrian hotel catering to skiers:

"Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension."

 

Sign in a Czech tourist agency:

 "Take one of our horse driven city tours - we guarantee no miscarriages.

 

"From the instructions on a Japanese hotel air conditioner:

"Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself."

Sign in a Copenhagen airline ticket office:

"We take your bags and send them in all directions"

 

 From the menu of a Swiss restaurant:

"Our wines leave you nothing to hope for"

 

 From a tourist brochure:

"In the close village you can buy jolly memorials for when you pass away."

 

Sign outside a Hong Kong tailor shop:

"Ladies may have a fit upstairs"

 

From a Soviet newspaper:

"There will be a Moscow Exhibition of the Arts by 15,000 Soviet Republic painters and sculptors. These were executed over the past two years"

 

Sign in a Bangkok temple:

"It is forbidden to enter a woman, even a foreigner, if dressed as a man."

 

Sign in a Budapest zoo:

"Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty."

Sign in a Hong Kong supermarket:

"For your convenience, we recommend courteous, efficient self-service."

 

From a story in an East African newspaper:

"A new swimming pool is rapidly taking shape since the contractors have thrown in the bulk of their workers."

 

Sign in a Vienna hotel:

"In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter.

 

Detour sign in Japan:

"Stop. Drive sideways."

 

Sign at a Swiss inn:

"Special Today - no ice cream"

 

Sign erected by Japanese citizens in Tokyo, when MacArthur was considering a run for president:

"We pray for MacArthur's erection"

 

Instructions on a Japanese medicine bottle:

"Adults: 1 tablet 3 times a day until passing away"

 

 

 

 Posted: 25 September 2013

Someone, who recently went to Beijing, was given this brochure by the hotel they stayed in. It is precious. She has kept it and reads it whenever she needs a laugh. Obviously, the brochure has been translated directly, word for word from Mandarin Chinese into English ...

Getting There:
Our representative will make you wait at the airport. The bus to the hotel runs along the lake shore. Soon you will feel pleasure in passing water. You will know that you are getting near the hotel, because you will go round the bend. The manager will await you in the entrance hall. He always tries to have intercourse with all new guests.

The Hotel:
This is a family hotel, so children are very welcome. We of course are always pleased to accept adultery. Highly skilled nurses are available in the evenings to put down your children. Guests are invited to conjugate in the bar and expose themselves to others. But please note that ladies are not allowed to have babies in the bar. We organize social games, so no guest is ever left alone to play with themselves.

The Restaurant:
Our menus have been carefully chosen to be ordinary and unexciting. At dinner, our quartet will circulate from table to table and fiddle with you.

Your Room:
Every room has excellent facilities for your private parts. In winter, every room is on heat. Each room has a balcony offering views of outstanding obscenity. You will not be disturbed by traffic noise, since the road between the hotel and the lake is used only by pederasts.

Bed:
Your bed has been made in accordance with local tradition. If you have any other ideas please ring for the chambermaid. Please take advantage of her. She will be very pleased to squash your shirts, blouses and underwear. If asked, she will also squeeze your trousers.

Above All:
When you leave us at the end of your holiday, you will have no hope. You will struggle to forget it.

From Turkish dating agency ad:

"I look really for want to fantasia and good friendly! I think so to many fantasia with you! If you thijnk same, you can send to message! I wait you! Please!."


A sign in a Swiss hotel

"Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose."

A sign at a Thai donkey ride

"Would you like to ride on your own ass?"

In a laundry in Rome

"Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time."

From a letter in response to an inquiry about accommodation

"Dear Madam: I am honorable to accept your impossible request. Unhappy it is, I have not bedroom with bath. A bathroom with bed I have. I can though give you a washing, with pleasure, in a most clean spring with no one to see. I insist that you will like this."

A sign in a Paris hotel

"Please leave your values at the front desk"

 

In a Bangkok dry cleaner's

"Drop your trousers here for best results"

A sign in a hotel across the street from a Russian cemetery

"You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday."

A sign in a Japanese hotel

"You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid."

 

From a European holiday brochure

"Having freshly taken over the propriety of this notorious house, I am wishful that you remove to me your esteemed costume. Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a french window in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. I give personal look to the interior wants of each guest. Here, you shall be well fed-up and agreeably drunk. Our charges for weekly visitors are scarcely creditable. Peculiar arrangements for gross parties, our motto is ever serve you right!"

In a Yugoslavian hotel

"The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid"

From the brochure of a Tokyo car rental firm

"When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor"

From a sign outside of Roman doctor's office

"Specialist in women and other diseases"

On the door of a Moscow hotel room

"If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it"

A sign in a Tokyo hotel

"Is forbidden to steal towels please. If you are not a person to do such thing is please not to read notis"

Instructions in a Belgrade elevator

"To more the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order."

Outside a Paris dress shop

"Dresses for streetwalking"

 

A sign in a Norwegian cocktail lounge

"Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar"

In a Rhodes tailor shop

"Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation."

A sign over an Osaka, Japan pet store

"Fondle dogs"

A sign in a Bucharest hotel lobby

"The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable."

From an advertisement by a dentist in Hong Kong

"Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists"

A sign posted in Germany's Black Forest

"It is strictly forbidden on our Black Forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose."

Sign in a hotel in Athens

"Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 AM daily"

 

How a sewage treatment plant was marked on a Tokyo map

"Dirty Water Punishment Place"

Sign in an Acapulco hotel

"The manager has personally passed all the water served here"

Poster in a Tokyo bar

"Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts"

From a response to an inquiry about accommodation

"I am amazingly diverted by your entreaty for a room. I can offer you a commodious chamber with balcony imminent to the romantic gorge, and I hope that you want to drop in. A vivacious stream washes my doorsteps, so do not concern yourself that I am not too good in bath, I am superb in bed."

Sign in a Leipzig elevator

"Do not enter lift backwards, and only when lit up"

Sign in an Austrian hotel catering to skiers

"Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension."

Sign in a Czech tourist agency

"Take one of our horse driven city tours - we guarantee no miscarriages."

From the instructions on a Japanese hotel air conditioner

"Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself."

 

Sign in a Copenhagen airline ticket office

"We take your bags and send them in all directions"

From the menu of a Swiss restaurant

"Our wines leave you nothing to hope for"

From a tourist brochure

"In the close village you can buy jolly memorials for when you pass away."

Sign outside a Hong Kong tailor shop

"Ladies may have a fit upstairs"

From a Soviet newspaper

"There will be a Moscow Exhibition of the Arts by 15,000 Soviet Republic painters and sculptors. These were executed over the past two years"

Sign in a Bangkok temple

"It is forbidden to enter a woman, even a foreigner, if dressed as a man."

Sign in a Budapest zoo

"Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty."

Sign in a Hong Kong supermarket

"For your convenience, we recommend courteous, efficient self-service."


From a story in an East African newspaper

"A new swimming pool is rapidly taking shape since the contractors have thrown in the bulk of their workers."

Sign in a Vienna hotel

"In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter.

Detour sign in Japan

"Stop. Drive sideways."

Sign at a Swiss inn

"Special Today - no ice cream"

Sign erected by Japanese citizens in Tokyo, when MacArthur was considering a run for president

"We pray for MacArthur's erection"

Instructions on a Japanese medicine bottle

"Adults: 1 tablet 3 times a day until passing away"

The following are real instructions from products:
 
 On a blanket from Taiwan:
 NOT TO BE USED AS PROTECTION FROM A TORNADO.
 
 On a helmet-mounted mirror used by American cyclists:
 REMEMBER, OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE ACTUALLY BEHIND
 YOU.
 
 On a Taiwanese shampoo:
 USE REPEATEDLY FOR SEVERE DAMAGE.
 
 On the bottle-top of a British flavoured milk drink:
 AFTER OPENING, KEEP UPRIGHT.
 
 On a New Zealand insect spray:
 THIS PRODUCT NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS.
 
 On a packet of American raisins:
 WHY NOT TRY TOSSING OVER YOUR FAVOURITE BREAKFAST
 CEREAL?
 
 On an American hairdryer:
 DO NOT USE WHILE SLEEPING.
 
 On a Korean kitchen knife:
 WARNING: KEEP OUT OF CHILDREN.
 
 On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights:
 FOR INDOOR OR OUTDOOR USE ONLY.
 
 On a Japanese food processor -
 NOT TO BE USED FOR THE OTHER USE.
(now I’m curious..)
 
 On British Sainsbury's peanuts:
 WARNING - CONTAINS NUTS.
 
 On an American Airlines packet of nuts
 INSTRUCTIONS - OPEN PACKET, EAT NUTS.
 
 On a Swedish chainsaw -
 DO NOT ATTEMPT TO STOP CHAIN WITH YOUR HANDS OR
 GENITALS.
 (What kind of consumer phone-call led to this warning?)
 
 On a Canadian child's Superman costume -
 WEARING OF THIS GARMENT DOES NOT ENABLE YOU TO FLY.
 (That's right, destroy a universal childhood fantasy!)
 
 On packaging for a Rowenta iron:
 DO NOT IRON CLOTHES ON BODY.
 
 On a British Boot's Children's Cough Medicine:
 DO NOT DRIVE CAR OR OPERATE MACHINERY.
 
 On a British Nytol Sleep Aid Tablets label:
 WARNING: MAY CAUSE DROWSINESS.
 
 On British Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding:
 PRODUCT WILL BE HOT AFTER HEATING.
 
 Paint Stripper Heat Gun:
 NOT TO BE USED AS A HAIRDRYER.
 (Speechless!!!)