Silly Signs

A (large!) collection of files, some quite old, listing strange English translations of various signs, and other amusing signs.


Date Received: 14 Jul 1993

Well not really translation errors, but a series of REAL notices spotted around the world and written by...well let's just say "people whose first language is not English". Apologies if these have appeared before...

In a Tokyo Hotel:
Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to do such a thing is please not to read notis.

In a Bucharest hotel lobby:
The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.

In a Leipzig elevator:
Do not enter lift backwards, and only when lit up.

In a Belgrade hotel elevator:
To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.

In a Paris hotel elevator:
Please leave your values at the front desk.

In a hotel in Athens:
Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.

In a Yugoslavian hotel:
The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.

In a Japanese hotel:
You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from Russian Orthodox monastery:
You are welcome to visit the cemetary where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.

In an Austrian hotel catering to skiers:
Not to perambulate the corriders during the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.

On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:
Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.

On the menu of a Polish hotel:
Salad a firm's own make; limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rashers beaten up in the country people's fashion.

Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop:
Ladies may have a fit upstairs.

In a Bangkok dry cleaners:
Drop your trousers here for best results.

Outside a Paris dress shop:
Dresses for street walking.

In a Rhodes tailor shop:
Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.

From the Soviet Weekly:
There will be a Moscow Exhibition of Arts by 150,000 Soviet Republic painters and sculptors. These were executed over the past two years.

A sign posted in Germany's Black Forest:
It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose.

In a Zurich hotel:
Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.

In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist:
Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.

In a Rome laundry:
Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.

In a Czechoslovakin tourist agency:
Take one of our horse-driven city tours - we guarantee no miscarriages.

Advertisement for donkey rides in Thailand:
Would you like to ride on your own ass?

In a Swiss mountain inn:
Special today -- no ice cream.

In a Bangkok temple:
It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.

In a Tokyo bar:
Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.

In a Copenhagen airline ticket office:
We take your bags and send them in all directions.

On the door of a Moscow hotel room:
If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it.

In a Norwegian cocktail lounge:
Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.

In a Budapest zoo:
Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.

In the office of a Roman doctor:
Specialist in women and other diseases.

In an Acapulco hotel:
The manager has personally passed all the water served here.

In a Tokyo shop:
Our nylons cost more than common, but you'll find they are best in the long run.

From a Japanese information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner:
Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of warm air in your room, please control yourself.

From a brochure of a car rental firm in Tokyo:
When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.

Two signs from a Majorcan shop entrance:
English well speaking
Here speeching American.

In a Nairobi restaurant:
Customers who find the waitresses rude ought to see the manager.

On the grounds of a private school:
No trespassing without permission.

One of the Mathare buildings:
Mental health prevention centre.

A sign seen on an automatic restroom hand dryer:
Do not activate with wet hands.

In a Pumwani maternity ward:
No children allowed.

In a cemetery:
Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.

Tokyo hotel's rules and regulations:
Guests are requested not to smoke or do other disgusting behaviours in bed.

Supermarket, Hong Kong:
For your convenience, we recommend courteous, efficient self-service.

In an East African newspaper:
A new swimming pool is rapidly taking shape since the contractors have thrown in the bulk of their workers.

In the window on a Swedish furrier:
Fur coats made for ladies from their own skin.


Date Received: Fri, 10 Dec 1993

English Language Blunders From Around the World Collected by Ronnie Alexander & Karl Zimmer University of California, Berkeley

Italian Hotel Brochure:
This hotel is renowned for its piece and solitude. In fact, crowds from all over the world flock here to enjoy its solitude.

Rome hotel:
Fire! It is what can doing, we hope. No fear. Not ourselves. Say quickly to all people coming up down everywhere a prayer. Always is a clerk. He is assured of safety by expert men who are in the bar for telephone for the fighters of the fire to come out.

Polish Tourist Brochure:
As for the tripes serves you at the Hotel Monopol, you will be singing its praise to your children as you lie on your deathbed.

French Hotel:
A sports jacket may be worn to dinner, but no trouser.

French Restaurant Menu:
Extract of fowl, peached or sunnyside up.

French Swimming Pool:
Swimming is forbidden in absence of the Savior.

Spanish Hotel Ad:
The provision of a large French widow in every room adds to the visitors comfort.

Madrid Restaurant Menu:
Tarts of the house.

Madrid Hotel:
Peoples will left the room at midday of tomorrow in place of not which will be more money for hole day.

Athens Restaurant Menu:
Chopped cow with a wire through it. *Bowels in sauce** *shish-kebab **tripe

On the Box of a Clockwork Toy Made in Hong Kong:
Guaranteed to work throughout its useful life.


Date Received: Thu, 5 Oct 1995

I came across a Silly Sign posted near a Slimes Dam at Saldanha Bay (Iron Core export Harbour), South Africa, and want to share it with you.

W A R N I N G !
To all seagulls swimming in RED WATER is strictly prohibited. By order.


Date Received: Tue, 26 Mar 1996

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

In a New York restaurant:
Customers who find our waitresses uncivil ought to see the manager.

In a Los Angeles dance hall:
Good clean dancing every night but Sunday.

In the offices of a loan company:
Ask about our plans for owning your home.

On military bases:
Restricted to unauthorized personnel

On a bar:
Our customers enter optimistically and leave misty optically.

In an appliance store window:
Don't kill your wife. Let our washing machines do the dirty work.

In a clothing store:
Bargains for men with 16 and 17 necks

In the window of a general store:
Why go elsewhere and be cheated when you can come right here?

In a Maine restaurant:
Open 7 days a week and weekends

On a radiator repair garage:
Best place to take a leak

On a Tennessee highway:
Take notice, when this sign is under water, this road is impassable.

In front of a New Hampshire car wash:
If you can't read this, it's time to wash your car.

In a Vienna hotel:
In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter.

On the faucet in a Finnish washroom:
To stop the drip, turn cock to right.


Date Received: Tue, 20 May 1997
From: Cornelia.Herrmann

Dear Harold Reynolds
I came across a Silly Sign posted at Heia Safari Ranch near Johannesburg, South Africa, and want to share it with you.

CAUTION!
Stay away from Zebras
as they kick
Management

Kind regards
CORNELIA HERRMANN


Date Received: Fri, 21 Nov 1997

Editor's Note: These are actual signs from England -- but then again no one says it like the Brits!

Sign in a Laundromat:
Automatic washing machines: Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out

Sign in a London department store:
Bargain basement upstairs

In an office:
Would the person who took the step ladder yesterday please bring it back or further steps will be taken

Outside a farm:
Horse manure 50p per pre-packed bag 20p do-it-yourself

In an office:
After tea break staff should empty the teapot and stand upside down on the draining board

On a church door:
This is the gate of Heaven. Enter ye all by this door. (This door is kept locked because of the draft. Please use side door.)

English sign in a German cafe:
Mothers, please wash your hans before eating

Outside a second-hand shop:
We exchange anything - bicycles, washing machines etc. Why not bring your wife along and get a wonderful bargain?

Sign outside a new town hall which was to be opened by the Prince of Wales:
The town hall is closed until opening. It will remain closed after being opened. Open tomorrow.

Outside a photographer's studio:
Out to lunch: If not back by five, out for dinner also

Seen at the side of a Sussex road:
Slow cattle crossing. No overtaking for the next 100 yrs.

Outside a disco:
Smart's is the most exclusive disco in town. Everyone welcome

Sign warning of quicksand:
Quicksand. Any person passing this point will be drowned. By order of the district council

Notice sent to residents of a Wiltshire parish:
Due to increasing problems with litter, louts and vandals, we must ask anyone with relatives buried in the graveyard to do their best to keep them in order

Notice in a dry cleaner's window:
Anyone leaving their garments here for more than 30 days will be disposed of

Sign on motorway garage:
Please do not smoke near our petrol pumps. Your life may not be worth much but our petrol is

Notice in health food shop window:
Closed due to illness

Spotted in a safari park:
Elephants please stay in your car

Notice in a field:
The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but the bull charges

Message on a leaflet:
If you cannot read, this leaflet will tell you how to get lessons

Sign on a repair shop door:
We can repair anything. (Please knock hard on the door - the bell doesn't work)

Spotted in a toilet in a London office block:
Toilet out of order. Please use floor below

Sign in a Japanese hotel:
Sports jackets may be worn but no trousers

Sign in Egyptian hotel:
If you require room service, please open door and shout, "Room Service!"


Date Received: Tue, 17 Feb 1998

Auto Body Shop: May we have the next dents?

Beauty Shop: Dye now!

Bowling Alley: Please be quiet. We need to hear a pin drop.

Butcher's Window: Pleased to meat you.

Butcher's window: Let me meat your needs.

Cafeteria: Shoes are required to eat in the cafeteria. Socks can eat any place they want.

Car Dealership: The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment.

Computer Store: Out for a quick byte

Diner Window: Don't stand there and be hungry, come in and get fed up.

Funeral Home: Drive carefully, we'll wait.

Garbage Truck: We've got what it takes to take what you've got.

Hotel: "Help!" We need inn - experienced people.

Maternity Clothes Shop: We are open on labor day.

Muffler Shop: No appointment necessary. We'll hear you coming.

Music Library: Bach in a minuet.

Non-smoking area: If we see you smoking we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.

On a Front Door: Everyone on the premises is a vegetarian except the dog.

On a Maternity Room Door: "Push, Push, Push"

Optometrist's Office: If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place.

On the trucks of a local plumbing company in NE Pennsylvania: "Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber."

Pet Store: "Buy one Dog, get one Flea." Pizza shop slogan: "7 days without pizza makes one weak."

Podiatrist's Window: Time wounds all heels.

Scientist's Door: Gone Fission

Sign in an office: We shoot every 3rd salesman, and the 2nd one just left.

Sign on Fence: Salesmen welcome. Dog food is expensive.

Sign on an electrician's truck: Let us remove your shorts.

Taxidermist Window: We really know our stuff.

The Electric Company: We would be delighted if you send in your bill. However, if you don't, you will be.

On a button worn by a nurse in a maternity ward: "You labor, we deliver."

On the door of a plastic surgeon's office: "Let us help you pick your nose."

Used Car Lot: Second Hand cars in first crash condition

Veterinarians waiting room: Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!

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