English As She Is Spoke

Signs found in countries whose native language is not English...
(from a bulletin-board posting; compiler unknown)
  • On the menu of a Swiss restaurant: "Our wines leave you nothing to hope for."

  • In a Copenhagen airline ticket office: "We take your bags and send them in all directions."

  • In a Norwegian cocktail lounge: "Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar."

  • In an Acapulco hotel: "The manager has personally passed all the water served here."

  • In a hotel in Athens: "Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m. daily."

  • Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop: "Ladies may have a fit upstairs."

  • At a Budapest Zoo: "Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty."

  • 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 Leipzig elevator: "Do not enter the lift backwards, and only when lit up."

  • In a Paris hotel elevator: "Please leave your values at the front desk."

  • 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 a Rhodes tailor shop: "Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation."

  • 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 Czechoslovakian tourist agency: "Take one of our horse-driven city tours -- we guarantee no miscarriages."

  • In a Swiss mountain inn: "Special today -- no ice cream"

  • On the door of a Moscow hotel room: "If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it."

  • In a Vienna hotel: "In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter."

  • Outside a copier in India: "We make photocopies in all languages."

  • From a Japanese information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner: "Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself."

  • In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist: "Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists."

  • On the box of a clockwork toy made in Hong Kong: "Guaranteed to work throughout its useful life."

  • 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."

  • From a Tanzanian newspaper ad: "Mt. Kilimanjaro, the breathtaking backdrop for Serena Lodge. Swim in the lovely pool as you drink it all in."

  • In a butcher shop in Nahariyya, Israel: "I slaughter myself twice daily."

  • In a barber shop in Tokyo: "All customers promptly excecuted."

  • In a clothing shop in Brussels: "Mourning and sportswear."

  • In a barbershop in Zanzibar: "Gentlemen's throats cut with nice sharp razors."

  • In the window of a travel agency in Barcelona: "Go away."

  • In The Restaurant des Artistes, Montmarte, France: "We serve five o' clock tea at all hours."

  • In a bakery in Vale af Kashmir: "First class loafer."

* * *

Signs displayed in (mainly) the USA...

  • In front of a New Hampshire restaurant: "Now serving live lobsters."

  • On the menu of a restaurant: "Blackened bluefish."

  • In a Maine restaurant: "Open seven days a week and weekends."

  • In a New Jersey restaurant: "Open seven days a week and weekends."

  • On the walls of a Baltimore estate: "Trespassers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. -- Sisters of Mercy."

  • On a long established New Mexico dry cleaning store: "Thirty-eight years on the same spot."

  • In a New York drugstore: "We dispense with accuracy."

  • In a New York medical building: "Mental Health Prevention Center."

  • On a New York convalescent home: "For the sick and tired of the Episcopal church."

  • In a funeral parlor: "Ask about our layaway plan."

  • In a clothing store: "Wonderful bargains for men with 16 and 17 necks."

  • Outside a country shop: "We buy junk and sell antiques."

  • In a Tacoma, Washington men's clothing store: "15 men's wool suits - $100 - They won't last an hour!"

  • In a Massachusetts parking area reserved for birdwatchers: "Parking for birds only."

  • In the vestry of a New England church: "Will the last person to leave please see that the perpetual light is extinguished."

  • In a laundry room: "Do not put wet clothes in dryers, as this can cause irreparable damage."

  • A sign seen on a restroom dryer at O'Hare Field in Chicago: "Do not activate with wet hands."

  • In a New Hampshire jewelry store: "Ears pierced while you wait."

  • Disclaimer at the end of a London, Ontario newspaper ad announcing job openings for firefighters: "The City of London is an equal opportunity employer. We also provide all our employees with a smoke-free work place."

  • In a New York restaurant: "Customers who find our waitresses rude ought to see the manager."

  • A sign in an Asian seafood store in Madison, Wisconsin: "Crap - .79/lb."

  • In a Florida maternity ward: "No children allowed."

  • In the offices of a loan company: "Ask about our plans for owning your home."

  • At a number of US military bases: "Restricted to unauthorized personnel."

  • On a display of 'You are my one and only' Valentine cards: "Now available in multi-packs."

  • In the window of an Oregon general store: "Why go elsewhere to be cheated, when you can come here?"

  • In a Pennsylvania cemetery: "Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves."

  • On the grounds of a private school: "No trespassing without permission."

  • In a library: "Blotter paper will no longer be available until the public stops taking it away."

  • On a Tennessee highway: "Take notice: when this sign is under water, this road is impassable."

  • In front of a New Hampshire car wash: "If you can't read this, it's time you wash your car."

  • On a poster on a telephone pole in Oregon: "Are you an adult that cannot read? If so, we can help."

  • A sign on top of a San Francisco drug store located across the street from the Transbay bus terminal: "Terminal Drugs."

  • From the safety information card in America West Airline seat pocket: "If you are sitting in an exit row and can not read this card, please tell a crew member."

  • On a delicatessen wall: "Our best is none too good."

  • On a rollercoaster: "Watch your head."

  • On a Maine shop: "Our motto is to give our customers the lowest possible prices and workmanship."

  • In downtown Boston: "Callahan Tunnel / No end."

  • A sign on a front yard in York, Maine: "Inexpensive, Quality Daycare - Openings Day and Night."


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see also
pot for the terminally stoned?

financial advice for the illiterate?