HS asked readers for tips on translation flowers. We got both funny and confusing examples from all over Uusimaa.
Helsingin sanomat newspaper has reported more or less failed translations during the spring.
For example, Seurasaari Antti, Antti, Antti signpost has caused hilarity in many passers-by. On the sign of Antti’s house, Antti is written sequentially in Swedish, Finnish and English.
Read more: The hilarious translated flower was left on a sign on Seurasaari – after realizing it, the boss of the island starts laughing
Now we asked readers for tips on special translations. We received them commendably from all over Uusimaa. Most of them concerned translations from Finnish into Swedish.
Espoo resident Mikko Lindfors had, for example, noticed a special guide sign on the Sorlammi nature trail in Nuuksio.
Most of the Swedish texts were only in the form ‘Swedish’, ‘same in Swedish’ or ‘xxx’. This is already from 2019, but the sign was in place for a relatively long time. Now it has been fixed, ”he says.
Sometimes the errors are so significant that the whole text is not understood. This was the case, for example, in a case previously reported by HS, where it was impossible to find out the Swedish text of the Olympic Stadium warning sign.
Read more: An incomprehensible translation was found on the Olympic Stadium warning sign – “I think Google translate could have done better”
Most often, however, the mistakes are small and mostly amusing. Living in Turku Sven Forssell has found such an example on the Porvoo motorway.
“When coming to Helsinki, after the Ring Road III junction, there is a deer danger sign, the additional sign of which reads ‘vilt stängsel upphör’. The intention has certainly been to announce the end of the game fence and not the ‘end of the wild fence,’ ”Forssell says.
In that example, only one extra space is lost, but it changes the message of the text in a much more whimsical direction.
One the reader told how the text of the elevator alarm button was “hjälp kommer” or “help comes” in Swedish. In Finnish, it read only the “alarm button”.
In the swimming pool in Espoo, the reader drew attention to the fact that the swimming pool was “hoppande pool” in Swedish, ie “jumping pool” in Finnish. In the Helsinki swimming pool, on the other hand, a sign by the pool called in Finnish “don’t climb”. It read “you will not climb” in English, meaning “you will not climb”.
Reader Inkeri Palmroth gives an example of Inkoo:
“This is more fun to get to, but in my hometown of Inkoo, there are signs in the spring and fall that say‘ ringbyte ’. I know it means changing car tires, but it always makes you smile. It inevitably evokes a circular expression referring to engagement or marriage. ”
In Swedish, the right word for car tires is “däck”. The word “ring,” on the other hand, means, among other things, a ring, so the “ringbyte” undeniably takes the thought of exchanging rings.
Palmroth points out, however, that many Swedish-speaking Incola might not see this as a translation error but as an expression in a local dialect.
Sometimes a small mistake can turn an innocent message outright. This was noticed by the reader Max Wikström In a grocery store in Espoo.
“There is a sign in the wind cabinet of the store in connection with the hand-held station. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the sign has read ‘Come to us with clean hands’ in Finnish. In Swedish, ‘Kom hos oss med Rena händer’. For reasons of decency, I have avoided exhortation, even though I am an obedient man, ”Wikström laughs.
The Swedish translation of the sign in Finnish would be “come with our cleanest hands”, which will immediately have a more ambiguous tone. Wikström says it gave feedback as early as May 2020.
We got it also an anonymous tip regarding the Helsinki road.
Itäkeskus has a small road called Voikukantie in Finnish and Smörblommevägen in Swedish. At first glance, you might think that the name has been translated correctly. The word butter is “smör” in Swedish and the flower is “blomma”.
Contrary to what one might think, however, the dandelion is not smörblomma in Swedish but a mascara. Smörblomma is a meadow buttercup in Finnish.
Nomenclature designer for the City of Helsinki Johanna Lehtonen says it is an old road name. The name dates back to at least the 1940s, but is possibly even older.
“Because it’s such an old name, it’s hard to know what’s behind it. But there can be small translation errors like this, for example in the names of plants and animals, which are very accurate. ”
There has been occasional feedback on that road for him to remember, but it is not being changed.
“People are used to it and use it.”
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