Un Minuto con…

Lost in Translation

By Rosario Mariani, http://www.europebychoice.com

When traveling abroad always keep in mind that the locals do their utmost to communicate with the visitors. However, at times their literal translations distort the intended meaning. Here are some signs translated into English:

  • “Please use escalator on your behind.”
  • “Customers who find our waitresses rude ought to see the manager.”
  • “Open seven days a week, and weekends too.”
  • “This hotel is renowned for its peace and solitude. In fact, crowds from allover the world flock here to enjoy its solitude.”


  • “In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter.”
  • “The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.”
  • In a Rome laundromat: “Ladies, please leave your clothes here and spend the rest of the afternoon having a good time.”
  • “Do not run on the stairs – use handrail”
  • In a department store: “Dresses for street walking”
  • “Our stockings cost more but they are much better on the long run.”
  • At a hotel reception desk: “Please leave your values at the front desk.”

Rosario Mariani is the owner/CEO of Europe By Choice, which promotes travel to Italy and other select European countries. He has more than 40 years of experience in the travel industry, previously serving as Director of Italy Product for Italiatour and Club ABC Tours, and also in other positions with EuroFly, Alitalia and Air France.

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4 Responses to Un Minuto con…

  1. rose romeo campiglia says:

    These literal translation signs made me chuckle. I can appreciate them having the Italian language as my birth language. Grazie mille per la sua informazione Signore Mariani. Con salute. Ciao.

    • Rosario says:

      I appreciate your comment. Distortion of English is found all over the world and it is truly entertaining. Amazingly, I find that the Italians are equally amused by trying to understand English signs.

  2. Joanne Cassinelli says:

    On one of our many trips to Italy, we saw this sign outside a restaurant in San Gimignano: “Open No Stop”. Excellent place to eat, by the way. The chingale was delicious!

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