Toilet Denglish


Did someone bring their German spy decoder? Every non Anglo-Saxon nation makes different mistakes in English and this was thoroughly made by a German. A Dutchman spotted it, wanting to share and show that maybe Dunglish isn’t all that bad sometimes. This photo is a thing of beauty.

It’s also odd that being in the Netherlands, the expectations of speaking English seems to be higher than what my friends tell me about Germany. If the German who wrote this writes this way to their clients, well, I can’t imagine it actually amounting to anything. They do get points for not capitalizing any nouns, as they do in German.

(Photo: Eric)

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10 Responses to “Toilet Denglish”

  1. Eric says:

    The german text wasn’t brilliant either. This is a definite example of how not to trust babelfish 😉

  2. wink says:

    That last sentence reminds me of Yoda…

  3. Emerald Rose says:

    Oh, my head. It aches just reading this O_O I had to laugh, though. Fortunately, the Germans I’ve come across speak much better English than this sign indicates. Perhaps there’s a difference between the Bavarians and the rest of Germany.

  4. ludolph says:

    Nee, hier kwam geen babelfish aan te pas denk ik. Die zou ‘Herren’ toch wel vertalen met ‘gentlemen’. Tenzij het origineel was “Liebe Herrentoilette”.

  5. Eric says:

    The german text was as follows:

    “Liebe Herren,

    bisher hatten wir keine Probleme mit der Sauberkeit
    unserer Toiletten, das hat sich in letzter Zeit leider

    Wir bitten deswegen alle die Toiletten (incl. Brille)
    sauber zu verlassen, was ganz einfach durch Pinkeln
    im Sitzen und benutzen der dafür vorgesehenen
    Bürste, sowie betätigen der Spülung möglich ist! Für
    Hygieneabfälle bitte die bereitgestellten Behälter

    Vielen Dank!”

  6. Eric says:

    Ok, I just fed that text to babelfish and the result *is* different, though not much better 😀

  7. Branko Collin says:

    Eric, what’s wrong with the German?

    And the English about, what amazes me is that all the words are spelled correctly, and though I did not count them I am sure they are all there. It’s just that they are in the wrong order!

  8. hasse says:

    Babelfish! Really funny!

  9. Kevin says:

    “Every non Anglo-Saxon nation makes different mistakes in English” Hmm. Doesn’t that statement carry more than a whiff of Dunglishness about it?

    My dictionary defines an Anglo-Saxon as “A Germanic inhabitant of England between the 5th century and the Norman Conquest”, and as far as I am aware the last Anglo-Saxon nation ceased to exist well over 900 years ago, in 1066.

    I expect you meant “non English-speaking nation”, but the mistaken usage of the term Anglo-Saxon by non-native English-speakers (with the French very much in the lead) is one of the signs that infallibly mark out them out as such.

    I was born and brought up in England, my mother tongue is English, have briefly visited both Angeln and Sachsen (Saxony), but am neither an Angle nor a Saxon, still less an “Anglo-Saxon”!

  10. Kevin says:

    “one of the signs that infallibly mark out them out as such” — this is one of the signs that infallibly mark me out as someone who should proof-read his comments more carefully before posting. 😉

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