Signs of the Times

7 03 2012

A good friend of mine has a blind mother. After complaining about poor signage around some road-works outside their house several years ago, the council sent them a terse letter asking why her guide dog hadn’t read the signs explaining the re-routing of the footpath.

Yes – really.

Here’s a sign from Tofino taken on our break last summer. The Tofino city council took the time to do the translation. 😉

Sign in park in Tofino

 

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16 responses

8 03 2012
misfits' miscellany

I think they’re encouraging aggression in dogs.

8 03 2012
Quieter Elephant

I think that was a typo. It should only be “Grrr”, but someone typed “Grrrr”. A bit like those Welsh council signs where the English version was sent to a translator, and the result put on signs.
So there was a sign saying in English “Roadworks, diversion” or whatever, and in Welsh it read “I’m on holiday for a week, please pardon the delay in response” or some such. I must dig out a link…

8 03 2012
misfits' miscellany

One of my favourite sign moments was walking past two butcheries. The one sign read, “Today’s special, skinless chicken”. The sign at the next shop read, “Today’s special, chicken skins”. I think it was the family business.

8 03 2012
lanceleuven

Perhaps the message was lost in translation?

It always amused me that the buses here in Reading had brail on the bells so that blind people could find them (this included the upstairs one despite it being unlikely that a blind person would opt to sit upstairs). I couldn’t help but feel that unless there was an audio announcement of which stop was next it was a thoughtful but largely unhelpful act. The irony of this is that the latest buses now have an audio announcement of the upcoming stop but no longer have brail on the bells.

It reminds me of the Ben Harper lyric’ there’s a difference between good intentions and good deeds’.

8 03 2012
Quieter Elephant

I was shocked a few years ago when in WA state when I came across drive through ATM machines at the bank… with Braille on the buttons!!

8 03 2012
lanceleuven

Hahahaha!! Oh that is brilliant.

And to think that once upon a time there was an actual meeting where that decision was made. ‘Well I don’t see why blind drivers shouldn’t be able to draw out cash just like everybody else…’

8 03 2012
Quieter Elephant

I also saw Braille on a handrail in Japan. The stairs were steep and long. I’m guessing it told you how many steps. But if you didn’t even know there were steps there, I guess you counted the bumps on the back of your head when you got to the bottom!

8 03 2012
angelyn

You know it’s a great blog when both the post and the comments are hilarious!

8 03 2012
Quieter Elephant

Too kind, too kind…

8 03 2012
BBC News – E-mail error ends up on road sign « Quieter Elephant

[…] promised in Signs of the Times, here’s a “lost in translation” signage […]

8 03 2012
lanceleuven

“I also saw Braille on a handrail in Japan. The stairs were steep and long. I’m guessing it told you how many steps. But if you didn’t even know there were steps there, I guess you counted the bumps on the back of your head when you got to the bottom!”

Haha! Indeed!

Of course it’s right to make the world as accessible as possible to all but you do have wonder whether they really consult the right people when they make these kinds of decisions. Do they really ask blind people what assistance they need or do they just assume? I mean, going back to the bells on buses for example, do blind people really need to be told that’s what the button does? The bells are positioned on the handrails, what else are they going to be for? The ejectorseat? If a blind person is capable of finding the rail, sliding their hand down it and locating the button I’m sure that they’re capable of figuring out that the button rings the bell. I hardly imagine that prior to that idea there were blind people stuck indefinitely on buses too afraid to press the bell in case they inadvertently fired the rocket launchers or something. And just to support my point it’s worth noting that the bell wasn’t indicated by text. The inadvertent insult implying that seeing people were able to figure out the button rang the bell whereas blind people needed assistance. Which I doubt very much is the case.

Sorry for the long comment but it’s got me going now!

8 03 2012
Quieter Elephant

Not at all! I enjoyed every soupçon…
Thanks for adding to the general mirth I try and foster herein.

8 03 2012
sheriji

So funny!
Do you live in BC? We might be in Victoria in June — Husband’s family lives on the island.

8 03 2012
Quieter Elephant

Ha! An early “welcome” then to BC. I’m in White Rock. Check out the beach front at: https://quieterelephant.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/white-rock-bc/

9 03 2012
sheriji

Have been to Vancouver Island a couple of times. Think it’s really beautiful. We were going to go on a fishing excursion from Tofino one of the visits, but it kind of fell through. I love the Pacific Northwest — Seattle, too, and would live there if I could (me and my Happy Lite).

Beautiful picture. Do you have more?

9 03 2012
Quieter Elephant

Do I have more?! Is the Pope catholic?!
We actually went fishing last summer, from Ucluelet. We camped about half-way between Tofino and Ucleulet. The sign at the T-junction had been modified by some local wit to add “Heaven” and “Hell”. Tofino is a lot more touristy than Ucleulet. By Island standards. Nowhere near the Blackpool scale of things though…

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