Email Autoresponder Leads to Embarrasing Road Sign

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Many accounts of what we’re about to tell you are saying that it illustrates the dangers of email and autoresponders – but we think that it’s really about the danger of not using your brain.

In Wales, the road signs are usually in both English and Welsh. The problem is that not that many people actually can read and write Welsh any more. Because of this, when the Swansea council in Wales needed to put up a new road sign, they contacted the translation office that they use to translate the English signage to Welsh.

Writing to the translator, they asked the translator to please provide by return email a translation from English to Welsh for the phrase “No Entry for Heavy Goods Vehicles. Residential site only.”

In what must have seemed like record time, the Swansea council received a response from the translation offices, in Welsh, of course.

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Dutifully, the Swansea council copied the Welsh phrase over to the sign, completed the road sign and erected it by the side of the road.

The sign read:


“No Entry for Heavy
Goods Vehicles.
Residential site only.
< -------------- Nid wyf yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd. Anfonwch unrhyw waith i'w gyfieithu."

Which, when translated into English, reads:


“No Entry for Heavy
Goods Vehicles.
Residential site only.
< -------------- I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated."

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So, what do you think is the lesson here?


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One thought on “Email Autoresponder Leads to Embarrasing Road Sign

  1. That`s an absolute hoot. Just sent a copy to a friend of mine, who married a Welsh girl and has lived in Wales for some years. Hope she appreciates it!

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