Miscellaneous

Lost in Translation English Signs

Lost in translation: Greek sign translated as "bathing of dogs prohibited"


If you’re making a sign that includes languages on your own, you’ll probably want some help to get it right. Sometimes Google Translate doesn’t tell you the right thing. Sometimes, people get creative and decide to skip that step altogether, and just ask their neighbour whose cousin moved to the US, because presumably the neighbour has picked some English up by osmosis. That can mean things get completely lost in translation.

Love Me
carfull… from Wyoming, Flickr

Love me, then do not terrify me.

I can’t even begin to guess what this is supposed to mean.

Emergency Toilets
Voxeros, Flickr

Emergency toilets

Only for people who are about to pee their pants or have explosive diarrhea…

Bear Trinming, Long Beach, Phú Quốc
Gavin White, Flickr

Full leg, bear trimming, foot love

I first learned what a bear, in the gay world, after I saw a bar in Paris called the Bears Den, and was confused as to why there were so many hairy men in one place. Perhaps they also congregate in this place, especially if they also happen to have a foot fetish.

Lost in translation
Lamat, Flickr

Say no to crackers; free parking

Eat cookies instead.

I learned recently that people talking about crackers on Diwali were not, in fact, eating crackers they were talking about firecrackers. Perhaps that’s what this is referring to?

Beware of safety

Of course!

Eat you veggies – have less wedgies!

I’m not sure if they’re trying to suggest that eating veggies will make you lose weight, and you’re less likely to get a wedgie with less junk in the trunk. I suspect, though, that less thought went into it, and someone was excited that they found a word that rhymed with veggies.

Caution: There may be alligators in the moist. Watch your dangle meat here.

I feel like this sign might be warning potential public masturbators to keep their junk in the trunk.

Please present your octopus.

I wonder what would happen if you actually brought an octopus and handed it to them…

Garden with curled poo

It may be that they left off the -l on the end of poo, but really, you never know what you might find.

Eating carpet strictly prohibited

No matter how hungry you are, or how reluctant you are to get ripped off by airport food vendors, leave the poor carpet alone!

Happy Thursday!

31 thoughts on “Lost in Translation English Signs”

  1. I’m suddenly cringing over my own past now. I tried as much as I could to learn to speak my parents’ first language throughout my life. As I grew up, I learnt that I made a bunch of language errors that my parents never bothered to correct because they thought it was cute, like I thought it was normal to speak in third person when talking about myself 😖

  2. “Watch your dangle meat” < That's one for your recent post, "bumping uglies"! 😂

    I've seen signs like these before and they always make me chuckle. Some great ones here so thank you for the laughs, which are definitely needed today. Love this kind of thing! xx

  3. 😲 You had me shocked with the “Eating Carpet Strictly Prohibited” part.

    Native non-English speakers do have a way of twisting the English Language.

  4. The first day I lived in Tokyo, a box truck drove by and on the side it said, “Brain Retrieval Systems” I still wonder what they had in the back of that truck.

  5. Thank you for the laughs. This is wonderful!
    Re: emergency toilets, it’s a funny sign, but better that they have them than not. I still recall the pay toilet in Israel where I had to stop and pay for the privilege of just making it in time to puke my brains out. Not my favorite moment. I get that maintaining public restrooms costs money, but do people really want to deal with the consequences of people unable to pay for a restroom in time?!

  6. “Beware of Safety” is actually good advice a) in the construction industry – HSE are a pain in the neck, and b) psychologically – don’t unnecessarily shy away from challenges & you can grow stronger 🙂

  7. Oh my, I can’t stop chuckling at these! You need to find more lol ! The one about veggies and wedgies proper made me titter haha

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