Saturday, August 11, 2012

It Must Be A Sign

Since I am unable to walk much these days, one of my favorite pastimes is just going for a drive. I love to sit with the windows open and the warm wind blowing through the car while we go nowhere in particular. I like to look at the scenery, the people, and surprisingly, the signs. Sometimes they try to put them in English, with hilarious results, and sometimes they just simply don’t translate well.

When I go into a restaurant where they don’t know me I’m often given a menu in English. I guess I really don’t look like I speak Spanish. I always take it and thank them for their consideration, but I would really prefer to have a menu in Spanish because the English translations are often so bad that it’s hard to understand them.

In the following picture, not just the integration of English slang, but the entire concept had me sort of flabbergasted.

bubis2New Boobies?

If our friend Carlos had not been in the car with us when we first saw this sign, we might have continued on thinking we had somehow misunderstood what they were advertising, but he assured us that, yes, it meant exactly what we thought it did.

The next sign is the actual promotion. Hold onto your seat.


For each two glasses of wine or drinks that you purchase , you will receive a ticket to win breast enhancement surgery. Or as they so eloquently put it, a boobie operation.
The next sign is advertising English lessons. I’m not really sure where they were going with it but it sort of brings to mind fish-net stockings and a riding crop.


I love the following sign. It is a road sign on a very steep incline descending about 2000 ft. from Patzcuaro to Uruapan. It is fine in Spanish but when you translate it it conjures up an interesting image.

Fireside 004
Ahhhhhhh, Get Out Of The Way!!!!!!!!

Roughly translated the sign says “ yield to vehicles with no brakes”. Geez, good idea! Have you seen the size of some of the doble semi remolques, huge trucks with two trailers, on these highways? Yikes!
Now we have a sign that Todd discovered shortly after we moved to Patzcuaro. It is on the periferico, ring road, going into Morelia. It is an acronym for Urban Development, which sort of speaks for itself.

Government Building?

Institute for Municipal Urban Development

We have now returned to the question of whether it is wise to make a sign in another language without knowing all the nuances of that language. This establishment is in Querétaro.


In Michoacán there are even signs in the Purépecha language. I thought I’d gone cross-eyed when I first saw this one.


I’m always amazed at how easy it is to find ways to amuse myself here. Life is good!


  1. If you find photograph #3 a bit perplexing, it is obvious you have never had a discussion with English men of a certain age in Paris.

  2. No, I've never been to Paris, but now I am interested.