16 October, 2019

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Language Policy Failure: Reserved For Pregnant Ladies Translated As Reserved For Pregnant Dogs On Govt. Signage

The glaring inaccuracies on signboards that include the Tamil Language, at several Government buildings and state run buses were deeply insulting to the Tamil people, experts have pointed out, after the signage on a bus that should have read “Reserved for Pregnant Mothers ” was translated into Tamil as “Reserved for Pregnant Dogs.”

The BBC Sinhala reports that Minister of National Languages, Vasudeva Nanayakkara has sought an apology from the Tamil people of Sri Lanka for the inadvertent mistakes.

He said that the inaccuracies were due to improper translations.

Tamil Sinhala Translation errors

 

Photo courtesy Veerakesari

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  • 24
    9

    These signs must have been prepared by Sinhala educated person/s who learned from their Kumarodaya books that Tamils are very nasty people – hence the reference to dogs.

    Little wonder the Sinhala state and its armed forces committed genocide of Tamils.

    • 6
      26

      Sinhala educated person/s who learned from their Kumarodaya books that Tamils are very nasty people

      Well, what is the solution then? Tamils need to change their ways isn’t it really? What else can one do?

      • 6
        0

        Vasudeva Nanayakkara who is in bed with NGO Human Rights so called activist queen Nimalka Fernando is the Minister of National Languages and social DISintegration.

        Vasu, following the Jarapassa culture of nepotism and corruption has tuned his ministry into a FAMILY BUSINESS and appointed his son to run the Ministry. Its MONEY POLITICS all the way!

        Vasu’s son blocks any progress in the Ministry and prevents international donors helping with good programs and diverts funds for shows and hot air talk shops at LKRISS He is a clown like his father!
        These dead leftists are a curse on the country and a disgrace.. This ministry needs to be forced to present a BILL ON THE PREVENTION OF RACIAL HATRED AND HATE SPEECH in the Parliament of Clowns – and if not this Ministry of National Disintegration which is a waste of funds should be shut down.

      • 14
        0

        how can Tamils changing thier way make the Sinhalease less of a modayas?

      • 4
        1

        Vibhushana

        “Well, what is the solution then? Tamils need to change their ways isn’t it really? What else can one do?”

        As far as you are concerned the sign writing in Tamil is a Tamil problem and you would would be happy if all Tamil expecting mothers became pregnant bitches even if that is biologically impossible.

        This is a good idea.

      • 10
        0

        .
        Come’on Vibu,

        It’s very simple….. just stop teaching hate among kids, especially about other communities.

        That’s the first step….

        :-)

    • 10
      0

      .
      If the guy who translated not fired yet…. then you are right.

      :-)

    • 0
      0

      “prepared by Sinhala educated person/s who learned from their Kumarodaya books that Tamils are very nasty people”

      Assuming the translation is done by a Sinhalese.

      But what if the translator is a Tamil? :D Which book he/she did read?

      Whoever the culprit is, has to be punished.

    • 0
      1

      Idiot!
      In Galle Muslims are the Tamil speakers. They did this error.

    • 1
      0

      ”A UNESCO supervised revision of school text books by a panel of internationally renowned Sri Lankan scholars (such as Prof Sudharshan Seneviratne) so as to minimize prejudice against communities and ‘build the defences of peace in the minds of men’ – – The Lalith Weeratunga Presentation, Dayan Jayatilleka, 28 January 2014, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-lalith-weeratunga-presentation/

    • 0
      1

      If there is Tamil genocide, how come the Tamil population in Wellawatta,Dehiwala, Kotahena and suburbs rising day by day? New apartment buildings are mushrooming in Wellawatta and Dehiwala area. Tamils are coming back in numbers!

  • 10
    2

    Tamil language genocide.

  • 8
    3

    A pregnant mother who was occupying this reserved seat was asked to vacate the seat when a man got in with his pregnat dog.

    • 1
      2

      Tamil errors are rampant in your Tamil nadu. I have seen a lot. So, don’t cry like a fool!

      கரையான் – SL Tamil fisherman
      கறையான்- termite.

      In Trichy we saw a board saying “we will destroy termites” but in Tamil they wrote “கரையானை ஒழிப்போம்” means “we will destroy the SL Tamil fisherman”. My Fisherman friend got shock and thought they are against LTTE which is controlled by Fishing folks!

      • 1
        2

        good imaginative bullshit story.

        so are you a கரையான் – SL Tamil fisherman or கறையான்- termite.

        either way go back to where you belong

  • 21
    1

    This is the lunacy and the lies we are made to hear, It is hilarious what this government says and does. Take for example how they want children to learn English. It’s called learning English the Sri Lankan way. How can one learn a foreign language in generic style. Teachers in rural schools teach children to substitute sinhalese words if they do not know the English equivalent. A student is taught ” Take kude as it is going to vahinawa ” This is the joke the rulers of this country have made this out to be. Ironically their children speak perfect English having gone to the best of schools. My point is why waste time learning a language incorrectly when you can spend the same time to learn it correctly ? Would any company employ a graduate without a good command of English ? Even here regime wants to portray themselves patriots who will not learn the queens language the way it should be learnt but learn it our way. Check the spelling of ” Reserved” on the sign board !!! These are the double standards and hypocracy of the regime. Why on earth should a Tamil sign board be translated by a sinhalese ? Millions are spent maintaining a ministry and a minister on language policy but a simple board cannot be designed without offending a community. If by chance an offensive board came up in the north in sinhalese the BBS clowns would be on the streets shouting anti Tamil slogans. I hate to say this but this country never learnt and will never learn. Winning a war has simply not made any difference to the way people think and how the country is progressing.

    • 8
      0

      Spot on, Mr Ranasinghe! A language policy formulated and run on incompetence was destined to end in tears. Our newer practitioners are making us the laughing stock of a watching world.

    • 3
      0

      Hats off to you Michael…
      I have been writing for so many years about another stupidity of these morons who are working as legislators. The mistake is calling A Lane, A Road, A Street, An Avenue by a single stupid word in English “MAWATHA”. WTF, is wrong with these people????

      Ranasinghe Premadasa another south moron who became another President who destroyed the system by introducing anarchy and Autocracy started the name changing of the roads in Colombo with tongue twisting stupid names.

      So, when you look up in local maps in international websites MAWATHA is replaced with ROAD or STREET.

      WHY CAN’T THESE BUGGERS CALL A ROAD – A ROAD, A STREET – A STREET etc.
      Why Mawatha…?

      Like what you say above the kids with these skewed stupid English might say ” Take kudey as it is going to vahinawa ” also, “I came by a motor cycle on many mawathas that were being Carpet karala nicely aney”

  • 7
    1

    Rajash -Good one I almost believed it,, Yep it can happen in Sri Lanka ,anything is possible here ..

    • 4
      0

      LOL I think the sign board n English and Sinhala is wrong.

      • 3
        0

        I agree.

        The board was put up for the Gota’s Swiss Dog that travelled by Sri Lankan Special Flight.

        Fortunately Neither the Dog nor the master could read Tamil.

        Fortunately for the pregnant Sri Lankan Mothers. Think of their plight.

        Thank God! Sinhala Buddhist women cannot read Tamil.

        In a eyes of the Tamil Literate all pregnants sitting under the sign are pregnant bitches. A tragedy perpetuated by a Moda Translator.

  • 4
    0

    Minister of National Languages? What exactly is this Ministry responsible for? I wonder even India, which has 13 different languages if I am not mistaken, has a Ministry dedicated for the languages.
    As for the signage, apart from insulting the Tamils, the word ‘Reserved’ is spelt wrong. Obviously the employees of the Ministry seem to know very little about the official languages of the country, in which case, is the Ministry ‘fit for purpose’?

  • 1
    9

    So pregnant Tamil women [Edited out]

    • 3
      0

      Thats where your [Edited out]

  • 5
    0

    This for sure is a genuine mistake. Excuse the pun!!!. What is the translation confusion between the “tha” and the “naa”. While the translation was done by a Sinhalese was the writing, proof reading and printing done by the Portuguese/Dutch/British. Seriously what were the Sri Lankan Tamils/Muslims/Malays doing who are Tamil literate.

  • 3
    1

    This is only a difference of the letter ‘tha’ and ‘na’. But a couple of years back when I was leaving the BIA airport, the electronic sign for ‘Pitathwima’ read as ‘Maranam’ in Tamil which literally means ‘Death’. Hope the authorities had rectified it by now.

  • 2
    0

    The issue here is that the erroneous label is a sign of a deeper problem…of the indifference of the government (or the majority) to the problems faced by the minorities….

    • 1
      0

      Or the insistence that minorities have no problems. Oh wait!! According to His Excellency there are no minorities in the country. So obviously there are no problems!!

  • 3
    0

    What about the English Language written on the board. Why Reserved with two RR’s. I think the translter doesn’t know any language properly. Government has to switch on to English only like it was in fifties or earlier. Sinhalese and Tamil can be the second languages. Sinhalese language is only for 20 million people. Rest of the world don’t know Sinhalese.

    Cyril

  • 4
    0

    There are those who deny that the minorities have any special problems by pointing out that about 65-70% of the population is Muslim or Tamil in the city (of course they deny that the attack on the mosques and churches ever took place)

    But, a recent street diversion shows no sign in Tamil but only Sinhalese and English. This despite the muslims too speaking Tamil. Either they should have had it only in English or in all three languages.
    http://www.dailymirror.lk/caption-story/42344-pittala-junction-opens-.html#comments

    So much for the trilingual policy and claiming that there is no issues.

    Supposing the Jaffna Municipal Council had done the same, we would have the Mahanayake thera’s getting out of their BMW/Benz to the streets (for a few minutes at least anyway since its very hot and humid after all) protesting about the demise of the sinhalese.

    • 2
      0

      This reminds me of my trip to Akkaraipattu about 7 years back. It’s a predominantly Tamil speaking area. While returning everybody had to take a vehicle pass by filling in a form from the police station and produce it at the checkpoint somewhere close to Ampara. The forms were only in Sinhala and a poor constable had to sit and fill almost 95% of the forms. If the forms were printed in Sinhala as well as Tamil it would have been easier for all. What is Sri Lanka’s official language? Only Sinhala?

      • 1
        0

        I mean Sinhala, Tamil and English.

  • 3
    2

    When the Forces put dead carcases of dogs on the grave of VP’s mother, those same buggers must have translated this.

    • 1
      0

      And your evidence for this is……?

  • 3
    4

    If you want to know about racism and genocide ask Obama. A few years ago he could not sit on the same bus seat as a white man. When did Tamils suffer like American Blacks and Indians? Every government since 1948 has had Tamils, Christians, Muslims in the cabinet. Once there they fill their ministries with their own. Then they complain of discrimination.

    Tamil lawyers give first preference to Tamils, Muslim lawyers to Muslims. The same with Accountants etc. The Sinhalese will employ anyone. If you are a Sinhalese just try buying some land in Nintavur. It is for Muslims only. And you people wonder why the Sinhalese are annoyed.

    The West has always discriminated against its minorities. It is only comparatively recently that matters have improved. So they cannot believe that there is a nation on Earth where the minorities discriminate against the majority, but there is.

    Our minorities have always had power to topple governments. Show me any Western country which has had Jews, Blacks etc in every cabinet for 66 years.

    The signage should be corrected but it is no different to what the minorities do so don’t make a big deal out of it. It is not ‘language genocide’ as some ar8ehole commented. Sometimes I think that the Tamil language is limited to that one word – genocide.

    • 5
      2

      Just a short sentence to Mr Teller probably you are not knowledgeable enough to know that a leading bank in Sri Lanka which also openly funds the BBS too does Not recruit any other community other than the Sinhalese!

      • 2
        0

        Reverberates

        I beg to differ.

        They were but not they are.

        Now they employ Both Tamils and Muslims as they need their deposits to fund BBS.

        They have now realised this after they spread out their wings to the North. Where all the State assistance did not help much.As their past is still plaguing them.

    • 3
      1

      Teller,

      The problem is that all other countries including the west progressively improved their race relations. Most advanced countries have robust statutes and absolute press freedom strengthening their anti-racial measures. By contrast, Sri Lanka stated in 1948 with a secular none discriminatory country with huge potential to a lopsided, racist, and a majoritarian unfair country. If you do not see this now you will never see it!

      • 2
        3

        What BI will not admit is that in 1970, the Tamils had just over 35% of the admissions to the faculty of science; in engineering and medicine it was as high as 45%!

        He misses this golden era very much.

        • 1
          1

          Navin,

          I never said that. I am more than happy to admit that the Tamils were enjoying more than their share of university admissions and state employments. What I am critical about is the way in which the standards were brought downwards in order to balance out rather than bring the rest of the country upwards with development and education!

          The accusation that the Tamils exam markers were deliberately marking the Tamil papers up is ludicrous because, under the English medium the Tamils maintained the same levels!

    • 2
      2

      Teller

      “If you want to know about racism and genocide ask Obama.”

      No I don’t need to know or learn racism from Obama.

      I have great deal of experience in this forum and elsewhere. Both Tamils and Sinhalese are equally racist.

      ” And you people wonder why the Sinhalese are annoyed.”

      I know exactly why,

      The Sinhala/Buddhist believe this is Sinhala/Buddhist state and Buddha had chosen them to own it.

      They are paranoid.

      They are stupid and share their DNA with their South Indian brethren yet they want to portray as separate people.

      They believe in many identities. Aryan, Sakya Muni’s descendants, Hela people, Bihari Brahmins, Naga, Yaksha, ………Ravana’s children,……… are some identities floated by them to suite their need of the hour.

      They believe Sinhala/Buddhism is Buddha’s teaching.

      They also believe the Sinhala/Buddhists liberated this island from British.

      They are confused with literacy and wisdom.

      For them incestuous relation or for that raping their own daughters is not immoral.

      Burning the library is okay fine. No need to arrest the arsonists though they are alive and kicking.

      …………..

      Shamelessly sending their women folks to earn a living in those Evil Medieval Middle East Kingdoms while scathing about how the Arabs treat their women folks.

      Corruption has become part of their celebrated culture.

      Many more

  • 5
    2

    I believe this is a mistake as a whole. The following shows how mother & dog are spelt in Tamil.
    தாய்=mother versus நாய்=dog.

    As you can see, it’s a subtle difference(for anyone who doesn’t know Tamil), which can ridiculously change the meaning. Most probably the worker who did this was a Sinhala person who doesn’t know Tamil or English properly(You can see “reserved” is also mis-spelt). We’ve also seen such hilarious signs in both Sinhala & English.

    Sure, there is always a supervisor, who should have checked this & corrected this. But, I believe that is not the case. This is NOT something done to insult any Tamils. However, this is a mistake that should be corrected very soon.

    • 3
      0

      If our Hitlerpassa was given a English spelling test, he would have definitely failed??

  • 4
    1

    Tamil friends!
    I believe these things will not happen in time to come because there is a considerable interest among school going Sinhala children in learning Tamil. I consider this as a positive development.I am sorry to say when we were children nobody showed any interest in learning Tamil.

    • 3
      2

      punchisingho

      “I believe these things will not happen in time to come because there is a considerable interest among school going Sinhala children in learning Tamil.”

      Garbage in garbage out.

      Here I am not blaming the children.

  • 2
    1

    This is not a mistake. It is done purposely by some well Tamil known Sinhala. It is not about learning Tamil or Sinhala, it is about the mentality to respect each other.

  • 1
    1

    Its disgusting to see racism still exists. Has your country fell so behind with the times during the duration of the war that racism is still tolerable? The rest of the world is looking at Sri Lanka like a country full of confused barbarians. Both Tamils and Sinhalese, neither one of you are willing to forgive, which is shameful for one of the oldest Buddhist nations in the world. Hate begets hates, I feel bad for the generation of children that are going to have to fix all the racism and hatred that you have all created, both races. By the time Sri Lanka catches up to current social standards of today’s communities outside of Sri Lanka the world will be leaps and bounds ahead. If Sri Lanka does not attempt to create social change and equality the your people will be no better then countries like Uganda. Make peace, not war, accept differences, forgive and forget; look to your ancestors fundamentals, for your nation has fallen mightily from grace.

  • 0
    2

    Are we making too much of what is common place. There is an error in the English line in this sign board and multiple errors in the Tamil line. Such errors are common place in this country today. I was remarking to friend the other day while travelling that name boards here are becoming like those in Saudi Arabia, where I read a name board in English in a grocery store advertising that it was selling ‘stuffed feed’. Read the destination boards and street name boards in this country to understand the extent to which both Tamil and English spellings are skewed.

    Does any one care? A mother can be called a dog and a dog can be called God, due to the standards in English education and unqualified persons being asked to perform tasks that require Tamil language literacy.

    In a country where a person can be murdered to steal Rs 1200/= and a mobile phone, what would it take to murder languages?

    Learning to laugh at this phenomenon, may be the medicine we need in the times we live in.

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

    • 1
      1

      Exactly, it only shows the illiteracy of the person in charge of the sign boards and the ignorance of the others who see the error and not call for correction.
      On the other hand if one were to call to correct all the erroneous sign boards one will have no time for any thing else.

    • 1
      0

      Does any one care? A mother can be called a dog…
      how do you feel if some one call your a mother a dog …the bitch kind?
      you are a shameless arsehole

  • 2
    0

    The perpetrators should be punished or if proven innocent then send him/her to the primary school again….

    For such shameful mistake, the minister should apologise and resign…..

  • 0
    0

    I have long thought that the term “pregnant mother” was a bit odd. The woman might be a mother of other children, yet again this might be her first child. In the latter case, she is not quite yet a mother. I would think it better to say “pregnant women.” Others have commented on the numerous English errors on sign boards, and I always think, ‘Why don’t they just ask someone competent in English to check it before making the sign?’ There are no smoking signs in one of the trains I use to go to Kurunegala; they read as “No smorking.” Menus are another humorous source of English errors: “pried rice”–do I need a crow bar to get it off the plate and into my mouth? And next-to-last observation: a number of on-line news sources in English have short articles with abominable constructions and word usages. As for whether calling a mother a dog was deliberate, I rather doubt it; I think there was no one competent to check the language and probably no one particularly cared to get it all right.

    • 1
      0

      when a woman gets pregnant she is the mother of the child that is developing in side her. So Pregnant Mother is Correct use of the English

  • 1
    0

    Deliberate mutilation of tamil names and directives on signboards has been ongoing for decades.
    All successive governments couldnt care less.
    It is a simple matter to have a panel of english/tamil translaters on call for various ministries/departments to advise over the telephone.
    Vasudeva N has never thought of this,it appears.
    It is not too late,to do so.

    • 1
      0

      There is a further error in the Tamil line: othukkappattullathu (has been reserved) has been rendered othukkappattunnathu. It is like the reserrved pointed out above.

      The problem seems to be that these sign painters are party men hired as patronage by the ministry so that there are no Tamils to point out at least the Tamil mistakes.

  • 0
    1

    this is not the problem with the translation. this is problem with the font. The designer should be blamed for this problem. They should have proof read and tested with a tamil person before go into print. i see this kind of mistakes elsewhere.

    the person who typed this might not have fonts in his system or he could not identify the different between the letter ‘த’ and ‘ந’
    its like the word ‘thaai’ replaced by ‘ naai’

    feel sorry for the designer…

  • 1
    0

    translation should be done by Tamil Graduates whose native tongue is Tamil.

  • 1
    0

    translation should be done by Tamil Language Graduates whose native tongue is Tamil.

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