Did someone review your Spanish signs?

ER Visitor Passes

Pases de Visitannte ER

Correct translation:

Pases de visitante a ER (Emergencias)

Pediatric Check-In

Pediátrico Registrarse

Correct translation:

Registro de pediatría

Patient Registration

Paciento Registro

Correct translation:

Registro de pacientes

A poor translation like “visitannte” would not be a problem. Spanish speakers would understand that the writer wanted to write “visitante”. We would understand the word, and ignore the typo. But it is not the case with “Pediátrico Registrarse” (pediatric register), this Spanish sign is confusing. On the other hand, “Paciento Registro” it’s just funny. Most likely, a Spanish speaker would be amused and maybe a little bit confused, before they ask if that sign means “Registro de pacientes”.

These three Spanish signs failed to communicate their message.

The funny part about this case, is that Google translate might had been a better option. These are the results I got from Google:

A missing comma or a typo won’t be a big problem, at the end of the day we just want to communicate. But when we are talking about services, I think it is important to communicate on the most effective way.

Here’s a short list of some common signs in English and Spanish:

AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY

CELL PHONE USE IS NOT ALLOWED

DANGER

DO NOT ENTER

EMERGENCY OXYGEN

ER VISITOR PASSES

EXIT THIS WAY

FIRST AID KIT

NO SMOKING

NOTICE

OUT OF SERVICE

PATIENT REGISTRATION

PEDIATRIC CHECK-IN

SMOKING AREA

X-RAY IN USE

ÚNICAMENTE PERSONAL AUTORIZADO

NO ESTÁ PERMITIDO EL USO DE CELULARES

PELIGRO

PROHIBIDO PASAR

OXÍGENO DE EMERGENCIA

PASES VISITANTE A ER (EMERGENCIAS)

SALGA POR AQUÍ

KIT DE PRIMEROS AUXILIOS

NO FUMAR

AVISO

FUERA DE SERVICIO

REGISTRO DE PACIENTES

REGISTRO DE PEDIATRÍA

ÁREA DE FUMAR

RAYOS X ESTÁN EN USO

If you need them, use them. If you have a question, ask me. We have the same goal, to communicate effectively in Spanish.

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