The Difficulty of Signs and Non-English Speakers

I realize that there are entire websites devoted to mistranslation, with great examples like

from Engrish Funny.

I've been noticing it in daily life though too. I posted this picture

to facebook a while ago because I was surprised to see a car shop offering to add both "Remot Start" and "Seat Weamers", especially at such a low price. There's an Indian restaurant near my house that has a similar grammatical/spelling error in their large banner sign. So the question is "How do these large public errors get made?"

I think the answer is that they get made because this is America! Haha, or actually because the US is really all about small business and small business works on word-of-mouth and personal connections. Most of these businesses are small and seem to be run by first-generation non-English speakers. You have to assume that when they need signs, they go talk to their buddy who makes signs and is also a small business owner and probably also not a native English speaker. So you end up in a situation where deals are done with a handshake but no one has the ability to actually proof read.

I think the problem fixes itself though. In 10 years, those two businessmen will have more experience with the language so they'll make fewer mistakes. And their 10 year old kids will be native speaker and will correct them.

Well, unless we've all gone to texting so it's "remOt Start" "SE4T Hots"


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