Amsterdam-style Dunglish parking machine


While the city of Amsterdam is one of the most expensive cities in the world to park in, the money the city has collected surely never went to hiring one lousy translator to handle their English-language parking machines. Nope, they did it themselves and failed.

Hm, where to start? I picked three things, but there are more.
- Tariff = rate.
It’s not about importing bananas, it’s about the price of something.
- Sun- and Holidays.
No, no, no you cannot cut a word in half like that in English. Ever!
- Correct = correctly. English adverbs have different spelling. And their sentence is a big missing link. If you’ve entered your licence plate (two words!) number correctly, you can’t possibly have a ticket in your car until the machine prints one out and you go and place it ‘good readable behind your windscreen’.

Seriously Amsterdam, city of so many tourists, shame on you for this shite translation. Nobody tell me the city is saving money because they bleed car owners dry.

UPDATE: If you enter your licence plate number you don’t need a ticket in your car because often you do. That’s what this machine is trying to say.

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11 Responses to “Amsterdam-style Dunglish parking machine”

  1. ReinoutS says:

    You should see the miserably failed attempts at writing English on the screens of the brand new “Sprinter” trains, after they reach their final destination and they ask you to leave the train.

  2. Larry says:

    Also, incorrect decimal comma instead of point in €4.00, unnecessary spaces around the slash and before the colon after ‘number’, no space in ‘Start button’ …

    But at least they did get the right preposition in ‘Welcome to Amsterdam’ :)

  3. Lan Prower Kopaka says:

    Actually, Sun is very acceptable, mostly due to laziness, but it’s fine to cut words like that. Granted, it does clash when you have the other days fully spelt out, but oh well.

  4. Roel says:

    Wow, there is no excuse for this shitty translation. Good find.

  5. JM says:

    It should be shame on you, not shame on your. Next topic “How to type in English”

  6. Kevin says:

    1) You appear to regret that Amsterdam City Council failed to spend car-parking revenue on hiring one lousy translator — and then proceed to demonstrate that (in your book) they did just that!

    2) Your stricture regarding the use of the word “tariff” is too harsh. It often appears in a car-parking context in English. Some examples taken from the web:

    Cabot Circus shopping centre, Bristol

    Hillingdon Hospitals
    Car Park Tariffs

    Leeds Bradford International Airport
    Car Park Tariff
    Turn-Up and Park Tariffs

    Nottingham City Council
    Our Car Parks and Tariffs

    Parking Exeter Airport
    Parking Tariff

    Southampton City Council
    Click the car park pin to open information on spaces, postcodes and tariffs
    Car Parks tariff guide

    3) “And their sentence is a big missing link.” “If you enter your licence plate number you don’t need a ticket in your car because often you do.” Sorry if my saying so comes across as rude, but those really ARE strange sentences! What do they mean?

  7. Mark says:

    Perhaps residents in Amsterdam are too stoned to write proper English.

  8. Cicero Ril says:

    Res Ipsa Loquitur -the facts speak for themselves!

  9. Cicero Ril says:

    Could be worse: could have been googled…

  10. Anon says:

    tar·iff noun \ˈter-əf, ˈta-rəf\

    2. a schedule of rates or charges of a business or a public utility

    Oh, and while most of the English-speaking world uses decimal points instead of commas, South Africa (for example) does not. Perhaps they were translating to South African English, and not the Queen’s (not everything English must be “British”!).

    If you think this is something to complain about I highly recommend you try travelling to Asia or Eastern Europe. This translation is clearly understandable to any English speaker, so where’s the problem?!?

  11. Larry says:

    ‘Tariff’ might work if they meant their schedule of rates, but they clearly have only one rate, so why not use ‘rate’ instead of the false cognate for ‘tarief’ (which means just one rate)?

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