Amsterdam-style Dunglish parking machine

Filed under: — Natashka @ 6:45 am

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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‘Sael’ makes it sounds more expensive and silly

Filed under: — Natashka @ 4:56 pm

They surely meant to spell ‘sale’, but unfortunately, the magic didn’t happen.

‘Uitverkoop’ is still a really long word, and everywhere you look, you’ll see ‘sale’.

My inside joke about ‘sael’ is cheap though: in old Dutch, many words were spelled with ‘ae’ and eventually ‘shortened’ to just an ‘a’, like with some streets names in Amsterdam were ironically richer people live.

(Thanks Piet!)

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Don’t break my Saturday!

Filed under: — Natashka @ 3:51 pm


It’s an easy mistake to make and to fix (ha ha), it’s in a part of Amsterdam where people mostly speak Turkish (my part of town), but it’s still cute.

The rest of the Dutch in the shop window was really scary, a friend told me.


Double Dutch take

Filed under: — Natashka @ 1:02 pm

This picture is in perfect Dutch, but did you just it read here in Dutch or in English first?

It’s not Dunglish, it’s not wrong, but it could help you measure how your Dutch is doing.

Translation: (Mama, this one, this one, this one, please)


(Thanks to the person who sent in it, I cannot find your e-mail, shame on me!)



Dangerous fire safety protocol in Delft

Filed under: — Natashka @ 11:34 am

A company in Delft who that doesn’t care enough to properly translate a fire safety protocol (!) shares with us its wisdom on what to do if fire breaks out.

‘End all phone calls.’
– Sorry Bert, I’ll call you back later, there’s a fire here and it’s getting hot…

‘The parking deck is not an emergency exit’
A terrible passive sentence that says nothing about what you should do.

‘Be disabled helpful’
– As in don’t leave anyone behind I’m guessing, including anyone disabled, being mentioned separately as if not covered by ‘Mind that no colleagues or visitors left behind’, which is not English either. Ouch.

‘Venture to the assembly…’
Giving too many confusing instructions is not going to work. Venture on!

And shouldn’t fire safety be IMPORTANT enough to this company?


(Thanks Gerard!)

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Game off: a double dose of bad ordinal numbers

Filed under: — Natashka @ 10:56 am

First, we have the fake baseball shirt sold by chain store HEMA with the bigazz ‘th’ instead of ‘rd’ and earlier this week I also got the pic of a poster for a Dutch event with the same mistake. Fail all around. And it’s such a simple mistake to avoid. Thhhhh.


(Thanks Branko and Claire for these beauties.)

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Don’t tell the mayonnaise!

Filed under: — Natashka @ 4:00 pm

Poor uninformed mayonnaise…! Usually, the Dutch ‘koel en donker bewaren’, a standard phrase on food products, is translated as ‘keep cool and out of sunlight’, ‘…direct light’, ‘store in a cool and dark place’, that sort of thing. However the poetic ‘in the dark’ although understandable means to purposely not inform someone of something, like some second-class spy being set up in a bad movie. The hyphen is wrong as is the ‘soyaprotein’.

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The swimsuite, is that in a Vegas hotel?

Filed under: — Natashka @ 9:09 am

Picture 23

This is a non-story, there’s no girls to be seen, but I like the deliberate use of ‘swimsuite’ instead of swimsuit everywhere in this video article (Thanks Jannelies!). It gets my attention as well because a ‘suite’ (orginally a French word) is totally different that ‘suit’.

(Link to video: telegraaf)

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I move to you

Filed under: — Natashka @ 6:38 pm

Check out this current advert on telly that seems to annoy the Dutch and non-Dutch alike.

This man’s accent is exaggerated (no kidding), but the ‘I move to you, you move to me’, an explanation of haggling grates on our collective nerves. And then the ‘smart woman’ solves the entire issue by shopping online for her ‘vacashun’. Nice and bourgeois.

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More Schiphol humour

Filed under: — Natashka @ 9:59 am

Yes, a person speaking another language could have confused these two words, but it’s still funny. OH stands for ‘overheard’ and NS refers to the Dutch railways who are having a terrible winter so far.

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