I love taking photos of signs where the meaning has been lost in translation, and just about any other sign that I find amusing. Translating from one language to another is very difficult, so I am certainly not poking fun at any one culture or translator. Rather I just want to share a few photos of funny signs to make you smile.
But first I want to say that I have certainly had my share of translational mishaps. One such incident happened at a tollbooth in France. We pulled up to the kiosk and the directions said to insert “une billet” but we didn’t have one. My husband, who was driving, pushed the call button. Once the attendant came on the line, I tried to communicate in my limited French, telling my husband to say “je n’ai pas une billet” but in the stress of the moment it came out as “je n’aime pas une billet“. There was silence on the other end. In the meantime, cars were lining up behind us honking and people were yelling, adding to the stress of the situation. My husband noticed that a woman was approaching our car with a credit card in her hand. He quickly inserted ours into the “billet” slot; the gate opened and voila, we were on our way again. Rather than saying “I don’t have a ticket” it came out as “I don’t like a ticket”. No wonder there was silence on the other end of the line, the attendant probably thought we were crazy. That’s just one example, I have had more mishaps in my travels!
So, here are a few of the signs I have found amusing.
The one above actually does make sense, after thinking about it for a little while.
When we were in France earlier this year, we had another incident, this time at a restaurant. We had just arrived in Paris and had heading out for dinner. When we arrived at the restaurant, my husband realized that we had left our euros in the hotel room. He meant to ask the waiter;
“Prenez-vous les cartes de crédit?”
But said this instead;
“Avez-vous une carte de crédit?”
Rather than asking if the restaurant accepted credit cards, he asked the waiter if he had a credit card. The waiter didn’t miss a beat and replied in English;
“Yes, I have a credit card, and we take them too!”
We have all had situations like this and it’s best just to laugh about them. Getting stuck at the tollbooth was stressful at the time, but we laugh about it now; I suspect that the gate attendant is still laughing about it as well.
As always, please leave a comment, I love hearing from you.
Stay safe and healthy,