Friday, July 11, 2008

Pretty lost in translation in this hospital.



Tricky one at first, makes sense if you know that mistakes like these result from a rather obvious lack of sensitivity for the various shapes of Latin characters. The mixup of "d" and "p" or "D" and "G" are classic examples.

First line is a "green first-aid passage".
The hospital is obviously operating on a color system.

The second one reads
"Administrative offices of all inpatient departments."
The only thing I don't get is the "oeira" at the end of this line.

Shot in a hospital in 成都 Chengdu. Many thanks, Christoph!

10Comments:

At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Hugo M. Nijhof wrote ...

The only thing I don't get is the "oeira" at the end of this line.

Probably: Area

 
At 6:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

This sign is terrible.
So amazing that you can read and correct it!

 
At 4:54 AM, Blogger King wrote ...

Yeah, I think it should be "area".
Sometimes I think: if you translate, do it correctly; if you cannot, use sign language. That may be a better policy.

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger Kevin wrote ...

Our administrative govnt really makes me laugh, and cry.

 
At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Jing WANG wrote ...

hmmm this is bizzare, as a northen Chinese I don't have these mixups i think. maybe this has something to do with the local chengdu accent. the Sichuaneses are famous for their accents.

 
At 4:14 AM, Anonymous fz wrote ...

Green does not suggest a color system. In Chinese 'green' also indicates 'convenient', 'high efficiency', and 'unblocked/no need to wait'.

 
At 12:30 AM, Anonymous Matt Stevens wrote ...

@fz: So, although I don't speak Chinese myself, it looks like the first line might be a literal translation of the Chinese for "Emergency Room."

@hugo m. nijhof and king:"Oeira" strongly evokes the Brazilian Portugese term "capoeira," which is a popular martial art/exercise discipline. This combination of phonemes appears nowhere else in English, as far as I know. My wild guess is that the sign's translator is familiar with capoeira, but not English, and transposed "-oeira" and "area."

 
At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

I agree with matt stevens that the "oeira" is strongly reminiscent of Portuguese, and much of the rest of the smushed-together text reminds me of German. It wouldn't surprise me if a translator were confusing bits of the Western languages floating around his or her head.

 
At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

maybe "oeira" means Toilet...

 
At 9:12 PM, Anonymous Sandy wrote ...

I'm amazed at how you are able to translate it into a much-more-understandable speech. having studied english for 7years, I don't think my English is that good, because I think it's very tricky to trasnlate those medical terms or cultural essence into another language. Good job.

 

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