Native Language
( June, 2001 Volume 1 No.2 )

A few days earlier, one of our office technicians was told to go and get a driver's license since he may be required to drive the delivery van occasionally. While helping the manager on a broken down computer, the manager asked for a screwdriver. The poor chap panicked, stood up and said, "Bearly sori sir, everyday much work. No time go school driver." That sent laughter cracking throughout the office. Since then, the poor chap had earned for himself a nickname in the office - 'School Driver'. When a native person thinks in his or her native language and applies his or her knowledge of the English language, things can sometimes be quite distorting. Here are some examples of how English is being used in different parts of the world:

In a Tokyo Hotel:

Is forbitten to steal hotel towels please.
If you are not person to do such thing is please not to read noties.
In another Japanese hotel room:
Please to bathe inside the tub.

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 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 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 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. 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 Rhodes tailor shop:

Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.
Similarly, from the Soviet Weekly:
There will be a Moscow Exhibition of Arts by 15,000 Soviet Republic painters and sculptors.
These were executed over the past two years.
In an East African newspaper:
A new swimming pool is rapidly taking shape since the contractors have thrown in the bulk of their workers.
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.
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 Rome laundry:

Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time. In a Czechoslovakian 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? On the faucet in a Finnish washroom: To stop the drip, turn cock to right.

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 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.