Weekend what we’re reading: Sign translations in Wales, PETA ad rejected by Southwest, a concert for dogs

by Karen Cummings on June 5, 2010

E-mail error ends up on road sign

Sometimes translations can be very funny. In this case the highway department asked for a translation of the sign above and received a response from the translation service. Assuming that they received the proper translation from English into Welsh, they printed the sign and installed it.

Unfortunately, the translation was not quite correct.

All official road signs in Wales are bilingual, so the local authority e-mailed its in-house translation service for the Welsh version of: “No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only”.

The reply duly came back and officials set the wheels in motion to create the large sign in both languages.

The notice went up and all seemed well – until Welsh speakers began pointing out the embarrassing error.

Welsh-language magazine Golwg was promptly sent photographs of the offending sign by a number of its readers.


Southwest Airlines rejects this PETA ad

Southwest airlines rejected the advertisement show above. TSA would be pleased with Southwest, however few others seem to think the ad was that objectionable.

Southwest has dubbed a new PETA ad “too sexy” for its in-flight magazine, Spirit. Touting a vegan diet, the ad shows a security scan of a woman in her underwear with the words, “Be Proud of Your Body Scan: Go Vegan.”

Southwest Airlines Senior Account manager Diane Ciaglia told PETA the ad is “too provocative to run in our publication,” writes Adrants.

Countering Southwest, PETA Senior VP Dan Mathews said, “Our ad is less sensational than many of Southwest’s own promotions. The airline may have canned it because the company is based in Dallas, the heart of the beef belt.”

For dogs only: near-silent recital at Sydney Opera House

OK, this is truly bizarre. I can imagine an auditorium full of dogs howling along to the music. “Music for Dogs” will be performed in Sydney, Australia, on June 5th. I would expect that concert-goers will bring their dogs along. The show is free to all.

The 20-minute piece, written and performed by Anderson, will be played at high frequency like a dog whistle — a riot of sound for the canines while their owners will be more aware of the noise of the lapping of Sydney Harbour.

Some element of noise will be audible to the human ear — in the form of spoken word and and string instrumentation — but the bulk of the performance on the Opera House forecourt will be for dog ears only.

Anderson, who reportedly owns a rat terrier, said dogs are believed to like the sound of harmonic chords and stringed instruments and, of course, the human voice.

The event is the quirkiest to be hosted by the Opera House since March, when the landmark building was the backdrop for 5,000 nudes posing for photographer Spencer Tunick.

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  • PauletteB

    I’m glad Southwest rejected the PETA ad, but for different reasons. Despite it’s “pro-animal” image, the organziation’s actual treatment of animals left in its “care” is unconscionable. A quick Google search will uncover scores of documented horror stories.

  • Clive

    However hard one tries to be culturally sensitive, the bilingual signs in Wales range from mildly amusing to seriously confusing and even potentially dangerous. Even many place names have Welsh and English spellings, and the Welsh is always given first: ‘Y Fenni – Abergavenny’.

    Looking for the right exit from a complicated road junction in an unfamiliar town can be hard enough without realizing too late that you’ve been trying to read the Welsh for ‘Fire station’ or ‘Leisure centre’ and that the turning now behind you is the one you wanted to take. After a while you learn to force yourself to read from the bottom up, but it’s counter-intuitive at best.

    About 20 per cent of the people of Wales can speak Welsh (it’s a compulsory subject in schools) but far fewer than that actually do, and almost no-one isn’t fully competent in English.

  • http://www.spel-chek.com Mike

    Thanks for the recent contribution to my website. Advertisement is abbreviated “ad,” not “add.”

    Other wise an interesting article. ;-)

  • http://www.tripso.com/author/leocha Charlie Leocha

    Editor slip up. Now if my boss would only pay me more….

  • Pingback: Birds and battle tanks heard on hike in Wales | Tea

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AGLMBRWJTGDUN54AYZT3DPXRSY Jodie Kane

    Was this sign in one of the areas of Wales where the predominant language actually is Welsh? If so, this could actually be quite dangerous.

    It’s a bit weird that the out of office wasn’t in both Welsh and English in the first place, although I’ll bet that was rectified pretty quickly. And I don’t know about anyone else but I think I’d've realised that the speed with which the “translation” came through probably meant that it was an automated reply. No matter how good a translation agency is, it’s got to take longer than a few seconds to come back with the text.

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