Off topic: Wrong Urdu translation puts Scottish firemen in a fix
Thread poster: Percy Balemans

Percy Balemans  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:21
English to Dutch
+ ...
Nov 11, 2006

LONDON: Thousands of fire safety leaflets in Scotland have been withdrawn because a wrong translation in the leaflet's Urdu version for people of South Asian origin mixed 'gadda' (cushion) with a 'gadha' (donkey).

The leaflet, titled 'Fire Kills - You Can Prevent It', was produced by the Scottish Executive and has been made available to the public for five years. Its piquant mistranslation has only now been brought to the notice of the Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service.

The leaflet's English version reads: "Never jump straight out of a window. Lower yourself on to cushions, etc."

But language experts charged with putting the passage into Urdu - there is a large minority in Scotland speaking the language - translated it as "Never jump out of a window straight. Put yourself on a donkey."


A Scottish Executive spokesperson apologised for the error and said: "Since this leaflet was translated in 2001, quality control on translated material has been improved by running a system that includes proof-reading."

You can read the full article here:


Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:21
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Already discussed... Nov 11, 2006

BTW, it was mentioned last night in 'Have I got news for you', satirical quiz on BBC2...


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Wrong Urdu translation puts Scottish firemen in a fix

Advanced search

CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search