The other day we were fighting with Tanzanians on Twitter telling them that they can’t speak English to save their lives. I don’t know what they’ll tell us once they see what the Chinese have done with SGR signage.
It may be a Chinese funded project, but it is completely illogical that even the smallest of tasks were left to the Chinese. Kenyans are better English speakers than Chinese. The same applies to Kiswahili.
I therefore don’t understand who approved the wording of the SGR signage to be done by Chinese.
To be fair, most of the signage looks and feels world class, not the mabati type the likes of Magnate are used to. But the a sign is only as good as what’s written on it.
In this particular one that has been doing rounds on social media, it is clear the wording was done by a Chinese guy with help of nothing but Google Translate.
And though Google is the ‘god’ of the internet, their translation tool leaves a lot to be desired.
The picture is not so clear, but we’ve got you covered.
1. Please hold handrail.
Tafadhali kushikilia handrail
2. Keep away from the edge
Weka mbali na makali
3. Take care of children
4. No baby carriage allowed
Hakuna mtoto carriage kuruhusiwa
5. Please do not rely on the escalator side panels
Tafadhali si wakutegemea paneli eskaletor upande
6. Can not reverse ride
Huwezi kubadili safari
7. Do not lean out of various parts of the balustrades
Wala konda nje ya sehemu mbalimbali za balustrades
8. No pets allowed
Hakuna kipenzi kuruhusiwa
9. Do not throw rubbish
Si kutupa takataka
10. Children under 12 years when accompanied by an adult for an escalator ride
Watoto chini ya miaka 12 wakati akiongozana na watu wazima kwa escalator safari hii
A lesson why you should never rely on Google Translate.
Someone should immediately take down that rubbish signage before it causes regional embarrassment.