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Lost in Translation: Amusing Signage In India

Eatables Not Allowed outside the National Rail Museum in New Delhi

I’m currently in India, where I’m on assignment for Glamping.com to cover the Aman-I-Khas in Rajasthan.  This is my first trip to India in several years. With India’s colonial background, English is widely spoken. Sometimes, however, it can be written rather curiously. While I suppose none of these quirks technically qualify as Engrish, I still found some signs and words that struck me as worthy of a blog post.

At The National Train Museum in New Dehli I giggled when I saw multiple signs which said “Eatables Not Allowed.” I got the message– no food allowed. But the wording made me wonder, “are Lunchables permitted?”

Why not give an English school a Hebrew name? Oy vey.

Once I arrived in Rajasthan, I saw this sign for the Shalom English School and asked my driver to pull over so I could take a photograph. He did not understand why I thought it was so funny. I tried to explain this was like “naming a Hindi language school ‘Bonjour.'” My joke was lost in translation, which only further proves my point.

Indian Rails Meals on Wheels: these were the meals served on the Golden Temple train

This morning I took a 5 hour + train ride from Delhi to Sawai Madhopu on the Golden Temple train. The food they served on board was called Meals on Wheels. Back home in states, Meals on Wheels is an organization which provides meals to senior citizens, sometimes delivered to their homes if they are mobility impaired. Note: I passed on the food on the train. The Aman-I-Khas sent some lovely snacks to much on my train journey.

The Peace Sign translated pretty well in this selfie with Ganesh street art

The street art I came across in New Delhi translated better. I know that elephant is Ganesha because I have practiced yoga for well over a decade. And that peace sign in the trunk can’t be misunderstood.

Namaste from Rajasthan,