No entry for ‘out of the office’

Living in the capital city of a country in which the federal government is an officially bilingual entity, I know at least one person involved in translation. It’s simple fact of life here. I can’t say I’ve ever seen it collide with e-mail “out of office” auto-responses, however. Until now.

All the road signs in Wales are bilingual. They’re English and Welsh. I gather that like French in Canada, it’s not all that difficult to find people in Wales who do not speak any Welsh at all. How else can one explain this sign:

20081105_welsh_sign

The English portion is straight-forward, but the other part, in Welsh, is not a translation of the English text. Instead, it says, “I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated.” Seriously.

Someone sent the English text to the in-house translation service and when the response came, they stuck it on the sign. Simple, right?


Hat tip to BBC News.

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 11, 2008 at 13:02 | Permalink

    When Phillip and I travelled through Wales, we learned that the bilingual issue is actually very similar to Quebec’s. Welsh speakers are concerned about losing their cultural identity and thus regulations like Bill 101 were enacted. We even encountered some discrimination. When enquiring about lodging at a recommended b&b, we had a door closed in our faces. Happily, the pubs were much friendlier!

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