At Iverson Language Associates, Inc., our process of managing document translation involves adhering to strict quality guidelines and procedures. It also involves a healthy team spirit, a critical element in our company’s culture.
We invite you to share the bloopers on this page, which can be useful for a humorous boost to the spirit of your own team, or as a gentle reminder of the importance that quality plays in communicating business-critical information.
(Note: these bloopers do not come from any of our work!)
In the window of an Indian shop:
"Why go somewhere else to be cheated, when you can come here?"
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 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 the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery:
“You are welcome to visit the cemetery 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 corridors in 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 beat soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rashers beaten up in the country people's fashion."
In a Hong Kong supermarket:
"For your convenience, we recommend courteous, efficient self-service."
Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop:
"Ladies may have a fit upstairs."
In a Nairobi restaurant:
"Customers who find our waitress rude, ought to see the manager".
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 a Vienna hotel:
"In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter."
In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist:
"Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists."
A translated sentence from a Russian chess book:
"A lot of water has been passed under the bridge since this variation has been played."
In a Pumwani maternity ward:
"No children allowed".
In the window of a Swedish furrier:
"Fur coats made for ladies from their own skin."
On the box of a clockwork toy made in Hong Kong:
"Guaranteed to work throughout its useful life."
Detour sign in Kyushi, Japan:
"Stop: Drive Sideways."
In a Swiss mountain inn:
"Special today -- no ice cream."
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."
At a Budapest zoo:
"Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty."
In a Tokyo shop:
"Our nylons cost more than common, but you'll find they are best in the long run."
Two signs from a Majorcan shop entrance:
"English well talking. - Here speeching American."