Lost in Translation

Before moving to Italy I used to enjoy spotting signs that were either spelt incorrectly or were unintentionally humorous. Here in Italy it’s much harder to find them as Italian is my second language and I’m still not fluent enough to spot any errors, so I have to rely mostly on finding translated mistakes. Here’s three pieces of text that have amused me recently.


I like for this drink that the Italian instructions for use, instruct you store in the fridge and use within 2/3 days, however the English translation says, ‘consume within some days’. So nothing specific there then.


The second is a photograph of the local Chinese restaurant menu. It’s not the misspelling of prawns or sauce that made me smile, it was the ‘chilly’ sauce. This simple oxymoron of a hot chilli sauce that’s advertised as being in need of a sweater to keep it warm made me smile.


This final one appealed to my immature side and toilet humour, (no pun intended). It’s from a recent supermarket receipt and makes the two bottles of beer I’ve purchased less appealing. You could say the birra was a bit of a bum deal.

More Signs

I was wandering through town the other day, Nina Simone was singing, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood and I spotted a new take-away was opening. It had this poster in its window offering margherita pizza and chips for £4.50. I hope their cooking is better than their spelling.


Later I pass another take away and they had this poster in their window. I wonder if they require a few lessons in English.


But my favourite sign isn’t a spelling mistake, it’s a deliberate piece of mischievousness. As the sign was defaced near-by the school I’m assuming a student did it with a bottle of Tipex. Made me laugh though.



I grew up in a small village called, Forsbrook and nearby is the market town of Cheadle, Staffordshire. As a teenager, my secondary school hated the one in Cheadle, meaning the students from Cheadle were our sworn enemies. Thankfully no real trouble emerged and to be honest I’m not sure any of us, on either side were that bothered, it was an old feud that mostly got ignored.

Last week I went to Cheadle for the first time in over a year, it’s a pretty market town that sadly has succumbed to the demise of the high street, with empty shops being taken over by charity100_5442 shops. I was walking around when I remembered a sign that always took my attention because of its wording, so I took out my camera and snapped it for my blog. Surely the text should read,  Celebrating 60 years on the high street.

I was walking past a cafe when I spotted some errors in their advertising too: (Underlined in red)



It’s not just the need to insert uppercase letters at will that caught my attention, and despite the misspelling of separate it’s that apostrophe again. The sentence near the bottom reads ‘coffees blended’ now I’m assuming it means coffee is blended to give…… So we need the apostrophe, so it reads: Coffee’s blended to…

Finally on my way back to the car, I spotted another sign, this was advertising Slimming World meetings and again it was the scourge of the Wednesday spelling. For postings of previous Wednesday misspellings go to my old blog. Old Blog


Finally, I’ll leave you with another sign, this one wasn’t spotted in Cheadle, it was in town. There’s nothing wrong with the spelling, I just wonder if they get a surge every Saturday from people clamouring to get a plate of hot Head Patch?