Lost in Translation — at the gym

Sometimes, literal translations get lost in translation: Although “please take off water on your body” sounds a bit strange, I have a pretty good idea it was supposed to mean, please dry your body after getting out of the water.

I’m not so sure about Number four, though:

After awhile you get used to this kind of English usage, but it makes you wonder when there are all these English teachers and other professors using the facilities, why someone can’t ask to have such signage looked at and edited. I understand that a lot has to do with “saving face” as well as being shy asking a foreigner to check one’s English.

Then again, as a former colleague of mine, Peter Moule used to say, when we talked about such things, “I’m surprised that you are surprised.”

4 Responses to “Lost in Translation — at the gym”

  1. Katley July 21, 2011 at 9:22 am # Reply

    I hope they weren’t using Google Translate :) Google Translate, for the most part gives pretty sensible translations in most European languages. I’ve never tried it with Korean.

    As for using the sauna to dry your clothes, that’s funny!

    • Jeffrey July 21, 2011 at 10:00 am # Reply

      I don’t think so, Katley. I think someone’s got there electronic dictionary out and translating it that way. I go to this gym 4-5 times a week for the past seven months and you’d think someone might want to ask….

  2. seeharhed July 22, 2011 at 2:42 am # Reply

    thanks for the laugh… hahahha it is common to see signs or menu in Laos that are totally lost in translation.

    • Jeffrey July 22, 2011 at 6:58 am # Reply

      These signs can be quite amusing at times and give us all a good chuckle.

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