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Funny signs from around the world

Updated on April 9, 2012

Funny signs lost in translation

Traveling to Asia is an exotic adventure in itself. Running into warning signs which have been translated into English spices up the trip. Many of these signs are in front of museums, parks, temples, restrooms, roadways and are meant to be taken seriously by the tourists. In many cases, the choice of verbs and the sequence of the words would create a whole new meaning to what was originally intented. This is when the warning signs become confusing, confounding and funny. These never fail to elicit laughter from English-speaking tourists who revel in the misuse of the language. Here is a collection of my favorite foreign signs with my own added humor.

Stay seated while reading this.

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type=text

Figure this one out or perhaps ask for an interpreter.

Throw the toilet? Only in a rage.

Throw the toilet? Only in a rage.
Throw the toilet? Only in a rage.

Suicide watch?

Suicide watch?
Suicide watch?

Old building is crumbling so watch out.

Old building is crumbling so watch out.
Old building is crumbling so watch out.

Watch out for manholes.

Watch out for manholes.
Watch out for manholes.

Dye and drink at the same time.

Dye and drink at the same time.
Dye and drink at the same time.

Never tease the lion or you will be lunch!

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Spit or speak loud?

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Do not spit too loud? This could really mean "Do not speak too loud". I actually knew someone who could not pronounce the word speak and would say "Do you spit English"?

Do not go here if you are in a rush.

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Is this the entrance to the men's room or does it mean "Enter Here"?

Polite way to say do not step on the grass

Polite way to say do not step on the grass
Polite way to say do not step on the grass

Keep this place sanitary

Keep this place sanitary
Keep this place sanitary

Is your mind playing head games with you?

Is your mind playing head games with you?
Is your mind playing head games with you?

This really means that the twisty paths are tortuous. No tortoises here.

This really means that the twisty paths are tortuous. No tortoises here.
This really means that the twisty paths are tortuous. No tortoises here.

Avoid drowning yourself.

Avoid drowning yourself.
Avoid drowning yourself.

Alcoholics Anonymous is next stop.

Alcoholics Anonymous is next stop.
Alcoholics Anonymous is next stop.

Walk at your own risk

Walk at your own risk
Walk at your own risk

Any kind of doll?

Any kind of doll?
Any kind of doll?

No belly flops, please!

No belly flops, please!
No belly flops, please!

Painful punishment if caught

Painful punishment if caught
Painful punishment if caught

Do not keep combustible materials.

Do not keep combustible materials.
Do not keep combustible materials.

Perhaps the plane is not there?

Perhaps the plane is not there?
Perhaps the plane is not there?

Any poached fish in the pond?

Any poached fish in the pond?
Any poached fish in the pond?

Lure the elephant with a sugarcane

Lure the elephant with a sugarcane
Lure the elephant with a sugarcane

Are these real knockoffs?

Are these real knockoffs?
Are these real knockoffs?

Does the road really get wet when it rains?

Does the road really get wet when it rains?
Does the road really get wet when it rains?

You really do not want to break your neck.

You really do not want to break your neck.
You really do not want to break your neck.

Do not take this route in case of an emergency.

Do not take this route in case of an emergency.
Do not take this route in case of an emergency.

Really now. Isn't it obvious?

Really now. Isn't it obvious?
Really now. Isn't it obvious?

Better use your GPS.

Better use your GPS.
Better use your GPS.

Is 66 feet deep the black hole?

Is 66 feet deep the black hole?
Is 66 feet deep the black hole?

Leniency for pets with leashes.

Leniency for pets with leashes.
Leniency for pets with leashes.

Tipsy customers must be on all fours.

Tipsy customers must be on all fours.
Tipsy customers must be on all fours.

Ever tried dancing around a car?

Ever tried dancing around a car?
Ever tried dancing around a car?

Take a trip to Asia and see for yourself.

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Laughter is the best medicine.

To my guests - Share your thoughts - Add humor to this lens

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    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 5 years ago

      Hilarious. I was laughing from the start to finish.

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 5 years ago from Connecticut

      These are great! Some things really are lost in translation!!

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image

      RaintreeAnnie 5 years ago from UK

      These are really very funny thanks for the laugh!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Amazing reading! Thanks for the laughter riot. :)

    • AbsoluteJeanius1 profile image

      AbsoluteJeanius1 6 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for the laugh!

    • profile image

      goldleader23 6 years ago

      Sorry I couldn't think of anything funny to say. I think the signs are funny enough on their own. Great collection! Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Too much fun! It's great to laugh so early in the morning. :-) Loved it!

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 6 years ago

      Excellent! - very funny, I love it.

    • Commandrix profile image

      Heidi 6 years ago from Benson, IL

      LOL, funny stuff! My favorite was the "Caution: Protruding Sign" one. Wow, who would have guessed?

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      These signs are hilarious and I loved reading your interpretations.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      LOL, had a good laugh at these truly funny signs...**Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      LOL. Those are funny!! Thanks for the lens.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Coming back to bless this lens, and I'm lensrolling it to my funny college poster lens because it's that good.

    • profile image

      Beas 6 years ago

      This is a great collection. I found the "delayed due to some reason" one of the most funny signs.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      I like the bottomless pit sign... clearly not bottomless. Language translations are always hysterical when they go wrong. (Remember "All your base are belong to us"?)

    • ZablonMukuba profile image

      ZablonMukuba 6 years ago

      the signs are hilarious

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      These signs are so funny and I love your witty captions!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 6 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Very funny! I live in Asia, and I love to collect these types of funny sign pictures. I have a similar lens -- Crazy English.

    • profile image

      DARdreams 6 years ago

      Thanks for the laughs! And thank you for Squidliking some of my lenses, including http://www.squidoo.com/DARdreams.

    • jlshernandez profile image
      Author

      jlshernandez 7 years ago

      @anonymous: I am glad you enoyed it. Thank you for stopping by.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thanks for the chuckles! Well done.

    • profile image

      CharleySynder 7 years ago

      I had a good laugh reading your post..

      translation shanghai

    • jlshernandez profile image
      Author

      jlshernandez 7 years ago

      @SueM11: SueM11, thank you for translating meludah for "spit" and not "speak." That makes the sign even more strange, but funny.

    • SueM11 profile image

      Sue Mah 7 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      You have captured some really funny ones. Enjoyed it very much. I have to admit there are lots of these kind of English mistakes where i live. The one about the spitting is actually in Bahasa Malaysia and is advice about not spitting too violently/strongly. The word meludah means "spit " not "speak", though why anyone should be spitting in the first place is beyond me!

    • SallyCin profile image

      SallyCin 7 years ago

      Made me laugh out loud...thanks! :)

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      These are fabulous! I'll be back on days when I need a good laugh. :D 5* and fav!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      Enjoyed these! Thanks for a smile. Must be a very hot pond... :)

    • CarolynPile profile image

      CarolynPile 7 years ago

      I like this lens! Thank you for sharing its strangeness. :) five stars to you!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      That was fun. I was looking forward to the tortoises in the museum, though! Good job.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My personal goal is to visit all these countries and see the signs for myself...THAT is what I should've done during my sabbatical....

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Enjoyed your interpretation of the signs. The balcony one is pretty funny. :)