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Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 7:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A reputable transator was contacted to translate something from English to another language. The contracting organization then took his response and used it for its intended purpose, without realizing it was completely wrong. This was not done out of malice on the translator's part. What happened?

All participants adult humans, gender irrelevant.


Early sp0ilerz please to email, thanks.
Alhucema (Alhucema)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 7:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Relevant which language it was?
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 7:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Alhucema Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 7:55 pm:

Relevant which language it was? Only in that it is uncommon enough that no one recognized the problem.
Alhucema (Alhucema)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 8:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the translation mean something else than the orignial?

Did the translator misunderstand something?

Any homonyma relevant?
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 8:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Alhucema Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 8:04 pm:

Did the translation mean something else than the orignial? Yes.

Did the translator misunderstand something? No.

Any homonyma relevant? No.
Doctapeppa (Doctapeppa)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 8:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was it some kind of a brand name? Perhaps "Slim Jims" in Chinese actually refers to a prostitute? Or something like that?
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 8:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 8:26 pm:

Was it some kind of a brand name? No. Perhaps "Slim Jims" in Chinese actually refers to a prostitute? No idea. Or something like that? No, sorry.
Woodworm (Woodworm)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 8:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Heheh. Pretty sure I know it. Like John Sergeant, I will do the decent thing, and sit this dance out. :-)
Doctapeppa (Doctapeppa)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 8:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the contracting organization a business? American? Swedish? United Kingdomian?
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 8:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Eh, well, you've an advantage, haven't you? ;-)
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 8:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 8:45 pm:

Was the contracting organization a business? I don't believe so, although they themselves could've been contractors. American? Swedish? United Kingdomian? This last.
Alhucema (Alhucema)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 8:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the mistranslation relate to a single word or rather to a meaning of an entire phrase?

Would it help if we find out what organisation it was?

Would it work for US English as well?
Doctapeppa (Doctapeppa)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So I assume the organization was a not-for-profit organization? Or a government entity? Or maybe just some rich guy?
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Alhucema Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 8:54 pm:

Did the mistranslation relate to a single word or rather to a meaning of an entire phrase? A phrase would be closest.

Would it help if we find out what organisation it was? Not really, although it is part of the story.

Would it work for US English as well? Yes, but...

===================================================================
Doctapeppa Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:04 pm:

So I assume the organization was a not-for-profit organization? Or a government entity? This. Or maybe just some rich guy?
Doctapeppa (Doctapeppa)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are any idioms relevant? Figures of speech? Was the organization [consider LTPF list of UK government entities]? O RLY? NO WAI!
Was this supposed to keep people from ingesting raw lamb?
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:21 pm:

Are any idioms relevant? No. Figures of speech? Was the organization [consider LTPF list of UK government entities]? A council - it was for a road sign. O RLY? NO WAI!
Was this supposed to keep people from ingesting raw lamb? No.
Doctapeppa (Doctapeppa)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was it supposed to say, "There is a magic roundabout ahead, people!" in Swahili, but somebody made an error and it turned out to say "You don't know what we can find, why don't you come with me, little girl, on a magic carpet ride?"?
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:28 pm:

Was it supposed to say, "There is a magic roundabout ahead, people!" in Swahili, but somebody made an error and it turned out to say "You don't know what we can find, why don't you come with me, little girl, on a magic carpet ride?"? No.
Doctapeppa (Doctapeppa)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

O RLY? NO WAI!
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

WAI.
Doctapeppa (Doctapeppa)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the purpose of the road sign...

Regulatory?
Guide?
Warning/caution?
Construction?
Scenic/Wildlife information?
Stop/ Yield?
Handicapped Parking?
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:40 pm:

Regulatory? This, I would say.
Guide?
Warning/caution?
Construction?
Scenic/Wildlife information?
Stop/ Yield?
Handicapped Parking?
Doctapeppa (Doctapeppa)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did it relate to:
a one-way road?
driving on the left?
speed limit?
slower traffic keep... (left?)?
Move accident vehicles from travel lanes?
Something else?
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:46 pm:

Did it relate to:
a one-way road?
driving on the left?
speed limit?
slower traffic keep... (left?)?
Move accident vehicles from travel lanes?
Something else? It was supposed to say: "No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only."
Alhucema (Alhucema)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the sign actually bear the inscription?

The other meaning (that of the translation) - was it obscene? Rude? Or just nonsense?
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 10:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Alhucema Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 9:56 pm:

Did the sign actually bear the inscription? Sorry, can you clarify?

The other meaning (that of the translation) - was it obscene? Rude? Or just nonsense? More just completely different - out-of-context.
Alhucema (Alhucema)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 10:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the translated text ON the sign itself (as opposed to being provided separately in a sort of description)?
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 10:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Alhucema Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 10:21 pm:

Was the translated text ON the sign itself (as opposed to being provided separately in a sort of description)? Yes.
Doctapeppa (Doctapeppa)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 11:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did it happen because of a mistake?
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 11:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 11:47 pm:

Did it happen because of a mistake? Yope. Or no...or noish, or maybe Yes? I'll stick with yope for now, I guess.
Doctapeppa (Doctapeppa)
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Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 12:14 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Zákaz vjazdu preažké nákladné vozidlá. Bytový mieste iba.?
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 12:22 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 12:14 am:

Zákaz vjazdu preažké nákladné vozidlá. Bytový mieste iba.? No idea.
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Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 12:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't know.
Rcs (Rcs)
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Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 2:06 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think I've heard this before. Was the language Welsh?

"Nid wyf yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd. Anfonwch unrhyw waith i'w gyfieithu."

(This isn't a $poyler unless somebody on this forum knows enough Welsh to know what that means.)
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Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 4:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Rcs Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 2:06 am:

Yup, that's exactly it. Please, folks, do not Google (or elgooG) the solution - it's worth digging for, honestly. My wife LOL'ed when she heard the story...so now you know the mis-translated part was from English to Welsh...carry on please.
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Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 8:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the contracting organization make an error? Did the translating company make an error? Was the result anything like what it was intended to be?
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Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 8:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 8:35 pm:

Did the contracting organization make an error? Yope, I think, and yet it was understandable. Did the translating company make an error? No. Was the result anything like what it was intended to be? Not even close.
Doctapeppa (Doctapeppa)
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Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 9:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was there some kind of miscommunication? Is it relevant what the actual result was? Or just that it was not at all similar to what the intention was? Did the translator know Welsh? Did he/she/it/they read the sign? Did it make perfectly good sense to him/her/it/them? Did it wind up actually saying something like:

Life in the Fast Lane
Surely Make You Lose Your Mind


Or perhaps something more like:

Slow Ride
Take It Easy
Bodo (Bodo)
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Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 9:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 9:18 pm:

Was there some kind of miscommunication? Yes. Is it relevant what the actual result was? Oh yes. Or just that it was not at all similar to what the intention was? See previous answer. Did the translator know Welsh? Yes. Did he/she/it/they read the sign? No. Did it make perfectly good sense to him/her/it/them? N/A Did it wind up actually saying something like:

Life in the Fast Lane
Surely Make You Lose Your Mind


Or perhaps something more like:

Slow Ride
Take It Easy

No to these.
Doctapeppa (Doctapeppa)
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Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 10:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So the translator just took some words and translated them? Were the words mixed up in a bowl of M&M's that someone accidentally flazzed and blirred and the albatrosses came and then the dead father, mother, and child rode the elevator to the top floor but it turns out she was actually deaf, dumb, blind, and a midget and he was a zombie who like playing roulette and slots and they used a block of ice and they drew straws and there was a fire and his parachute didn't open and roman numerals and the Greeks couldn't have known this?
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Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 10:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 - 10:06 pm:

So the translator just took some words and translated them? No. Were the words mixed up in a bowl of M&M's that someone accidentally flazzed and blirred and the albatrosses came and then the dead father, mother, and child rode the elevator to the top floor but it turns out she was actually deaf, dumb, blind, and a midget and he was a zombie who like playing roulette and slots and they used a block of ice and they drew straws and there was a fire and his parachute didn't open and roman numerals and the Greeks couldn't have known this? No.
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Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 12:05 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the origin of that which the translator translated relevant? Or can we just assume it came out of nowhere, and the translator and the government entity both thought it was what the government entity wanted to have translated, but nobody cared enough to check?
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Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 12:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 12:05 am:

Is the origin of that which the translator translated relevant? This is actually fairly difficult to answer, so I'm going with F. A. Or can we just assume it came out of nowhere, No... and the translator No. and the government entity but Yes both No. thought it was what the government entity wanted to have translated, but nobody cared enough to check? This is close.
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Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 12:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So the government entity didn't even no what they wanted to have translated? Or did the email go to the wrong recipient?

Oh, and was the request even sent via email?
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Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 12:17 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wow. I misspelled "know". (Maybe if I brownnose enough, and I slip a couple dollars the mods' way, they will delete this post and fix my error before anybody finds out that the amazing DoctaPeppa is fallable!)
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Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 12:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ditto for "fallible."
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Doctapeppa Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 12:16 am:

So the government entity didn't even know what they wanted to have translated? This is not correct. Or did the email go to the wrong recipient? What email? Have you been cheating?

Oh, and was the request even sent via email? Yes.
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Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 12:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


quote:

What email? Have you been cheating?


I have not (at least insofar as I can tell [that is to say, I have not used Wikipedia (or Google [other than to translate the English into Slovak])]) I guess I just kind of assumed.

Did the government entity give the specific instructions via email? And they wound up getting mishmashed? Or something got lost in translation?
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Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 2:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 12:31 am:

quote:

What email? Have you been cheating?

I have not (at least insofar as I can tell [that is to say, I have not used Wikipedia (or Google [other than to translate the English into Slovak])]) I guess I just kind of assumed. I see.

Did the government entity give the specific instructions via email? Yes. And they wound up getting mishmashed? No. Or something got lost in translation? No.
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Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 4:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did they actually send what they wanted to have appear on the sign? Or just instructions? Perhaps this got misinterpreted somehow?
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Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 5:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doctapeppa Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 4:22 pm:

Did they actually send what they wanted to have appear on the sign? Yes. Or just instructions? Likely both - figure something like "Please translate the following into Welsh:" followed by the text. Perhaps this got misinterpreted somehow? No.
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Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 8:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the notion that an email was sent requesting a translation into Welsh of some words that were to appear on a sign? It occurs to me that if the intended translator were away from his office, an automated reply might be sent in Welsh that could be assumed to be the required translation, so that a sign might be erected with (for example) "Please do not feed the pigeons" in English and "I am out of the office until the end of July" in Welsh. Is it anything like this?
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Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 8:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Woubit Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 8:30 pm:

Is the notion that an email was sent requesting a translation into Welsh of some words that were to appear on a sign? Yes. It occurs to me that if the intended translator were away from his office, an automated reply might be sent in Welsh that could be assumed to be the required translation, so that a sign might be erected with (for example) "Please do not feed the pigeons" in English and "I am out of the office until the end of July" in Welsh. Is it anything like this? It is exactly like that; in fact that would be the

****** SPOILER ******

It seems that when the Swansea council sent an email to a translator the response came back as "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated."

Except it came back in Welsh, so they assumed it was the translation of "No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only." and put it on the sign.

Technically, I fudged, and it was an employee vs. a contractor, but it works either way.

This is just a guess, but I'm thinking they might institute a policy of having all OOF messages include an English version in the future (if they haven't already.

Here's your sign
Doctapeppa (Doctapeppa)
New member
Username: Doctapeppa

Post Number: 1185
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 9:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ah, of course.

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