Important Notice

It is not my intention to denigrate Saudi Arabia or its people. It’s like everywhere else, there is good and there is bad. I would rather focus on the unusual and the humourous. Offence is not intended.

“The country is not perfect. The media cannot be trusted, mistreatment of religious minorities is common and there are some that live in fear.” You can decide for yourself whether that statement is about Saudi Arabia, the UK, or any country for that matter.

To quote the Joker, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

That is all I will say about either subject.

Monday, 26 February 2007

Lost In Translation #1

It’s a shameful fact that the English-speaking world takes a perverse pride in speaking only one language, whilst expecting everyone else to speak at least two.
We then make fun of their broken English, as though speaking English fluently means that you're more intelligent than someone else who might speak two languages, but cannot speak perfect English.

I briefly hang my head in shame. I then remember I'm English and I can't help it.
So in traditional English spirit, there are some accidentally humourous signs around Riyadh that I’d like to share with you.

Would you use the services of the following company?

Lufta Translatoin Office


Reema said...

guess what man? i know a lady who used their service. their work is an absolute mess!! they should not be allowed to work as translators at alllll

Alwan said...

I live across the street from this sign. I used to see it every day since 15 years now. One day, I walked in there to see what they can offer. I found a bunch of very old employees, mostly from Sudan, buried under dozens of very thick dictionaries. The place was so smoky and their response towered me, a customer!, walking into their office was like: “Please don’t interrupt our Yoga!”

Margrave said...

Well at least it's honest advertising then :-)

Life Out East said...

I saw one here in bangkok at a bus station that read: Toilet is back (meaning of course that the toilet is at the back of the building). And on a menu I once saw: French fried and cheese bugger.

The mind boggles.

expat in al-Khobar said...

This is one of my favourite things about living in KSA. Every time you go out, there is something to make you smile. My favourite is all the barber shops in town proudly sporting signs saying "saloon". They obviously mean salon, although that is usually a female hairdresser, which you don't find in the downtown streets. So they probably should say barber but have SALOON in huge letters on their shopfronts, the word for the old wild-west drinking spots. You wonder why the Religious Police haven't made the connection!!! It conjures up visions of bar-room style brawls over bad haircuts with someone being thrown out the door and into the street!

Anonymous said...

I still don't get it
Does Lufta mean something funny?

Margrave said...

Would you pay a company for translation services if their advertising spelled "translation" as "translatoin"?

Amjad said...

I still don't get it
Does Lufta mean something funny?

No, it's not. Lufta is the name of their shop. An Arabic name, although I really don't know what does it mean, but it's a name and it cannot be translated to English.

What is ironic, that they offer various sorts of translating, and they spelled translation incorrectly in the sign of their shop.

Hosam said...

i guess "lafta" means something like "hint" or "mention" or something else probably i don't know :)
and they used the wrong way to spell it in english :)

i think it's an honest misspelling mistake. i think you'll find better "Lost in translation" pictures. i mean i barely speak the language and i'm always finding funny stuff.

- Hosam

Adi said...

Lufta (or more usually Laffta or Lafta)is an Arabic male name and is most probably the name of the shopowner.

Eudald de Brugada said...

I also took a picture of it. But I shall be honest and also say that advertising have a twin one facing Olaya street. This second advertising seem to be made just at the same time... but translation is correctly written there. Could be a problem of not checking the advertisings before they were installed...

Hans said...

Yesss... I have a picture of this one too, taken in 2009. Hilarious! Does the agency even exist nowadays?