Snapshots of Jakarta’s English grammatical errors

This is a picture of a sign I recently took on my Transjakarta bus ride:


It says: “Priority for Difable Pregnant, and Senior Citizen”. Wow.

Since the Indonesian writing starts with a verb “Utamakan….”, the English translation should also start of with a verb (Prioritize) instead of a noun (Priority). I wonder why hasn’t any English speakers noticed and/or reported this ludicrous erroneousness. Perhaps they think it’s better to be left there as a laughing stock, lols.

Here is another English word of the month:



which can still be found today (1/3/2008) in the English section of the Gramedia bookshop on the 2nd floor of Pondok Indah Mall 1 (the old building), South Jakarta.

“Food” sounds familiar all right, but “Baverage”?

Hmm… Let me check my dictionary….

(There are a couple of other similar errors in Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport, which I haven’t taken pictures of)

Rani  – (2 March 2008 at 13:51)  

A few years ago, a group of Indonesian architects held a public discussion on disability access. On that forum, the group decided to use the word Dif-able rather than Disable to emphasize that the blind and limp people are not disabled, but rather, have a Different Ability compared with normal people. Hence the word Difable.

厚山 利彦 (Toshihiko Atsuyama)  – (2 March 2008 at 22:07)  

oww.. thx for the info. I'll be posting some more real English errors over this couple of days though.. Indonesia sure is great when it comes to their quality of English!

miund  – (6 March 2008 at 09:13)  

this is interesting. you got a great blog and it's an enjoyable read.

thanks for making my day :D

厚山 利彦 (Toshihiko Atsuyama)  – (6 March 2008 at 11:37)  

my pleasure,

be sure to visit my blog once in a while :)

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