In the 21st century, you wouldn’t expect that there would be so many grammatical and technical errors in printed signs, labels, and letters all over the world. I know this rant will probably be to the like-minded but I cannot help myself. I am dumbfounded every time I see a horrible translation like, “Please slowed” instead of “Attention please” or a small letter instead of a capital for a major highway sign. All it takes is for someone who speaks English to give it a second look.
I am not talking about the need for a simple indent or the correction of a misspelled word. What I am talking about are errors that make us laugh and feel embarrassed for the person it belongs to, and the Internet is full of them! Check this link out.
A large sign sticks out in my memory when I think of my last home city. It was an English sign at a public building that started off with “Please Slowed.” It bothered me because I knew the organization that produced the sign and proudly displayed it at the building’s entrance. It bothered me because I couldn’t understand why they didn’t have someone take a look before they printed it? Is it pride that does not allow a double-checking of items intended for printing? Wouldn’t the risk of error for such a permanent display outweigh the risk of lowering one’s chin? Perhaps they really thought their English was impeccable.
At previous positions, when I was charged with the development and management of permanent displays and pamphlets, I checked, double-checked, triple-checked, had colleagues check and family check before I submitted. Unfortunately, I still had an error or two shine their awful selves at final prints. Human error is unavoidable. But major errors in translation should be intolerable, especially with a world of wisdom at the press of a button -especially for the English language!
Have you ever seen a translation error that you could not ignore?