UPDATE: Poorly translated road signs endanger Fredericton residents

Fredericton — New road signs in Fredericton, haphazardly translated through Google, have been causing a great deal of grief within the capital city, and residents say the unclear instructions may put both drivers and pedestrians at risk. Despite these complaints, the city maintains that the Google service is an accurate and effective method of translation.

“How do we know that these people aren’t just reading the signs wrong?” posited Mayor Brad Woodside. “What, are we just going to take their word for it? — They’re Frenchmen!”

Photo by Dan McHardie, CBC

Photo by Dan McHardie, CBC

The provincial government’s reaction to the news was no less troubling. “Well, I’m bilingual,” said Premier Brian Gallant, scratching his head, “and they all seem fine to me.”

Our premier’s illiteracy aside, the poor Google translations are giving the people of Fredericton much to worry about. For example, one sign, which in English reads “Drive slow: children at play,” has been since been translated to mean, “Please drive at slow children.” Many of the new signs have not been translated into French at all, but rather into foreign languages such as Farsi or Kilngon.

One visibly upset citizen pointed Manatee reporters to the new, light-green sign that had just been installed at the end of her road. “This one just says ‘Fuck You, Tracy,'” she explained. “My name is Tracy!”

And the problems do not end there. Speed limit signs now provide only information on how to prepare western-style omelets, new ONE WAY signs feature the lyrics to the 1983 hit song “Every Breath You Take,” and several women have complained that the translated STOP signs have been making lewd suggestions to them as they pass.

Minister of Public Safety Stephen Horsman said that he had personally met with all 20 of these new road signs to discuss the concerns, but that he “couldn’t understand a goddamn thing they were saying.” The road signs are expected to appear in civil court later this month.

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