“Franjo Tuđman” Lost in Translation

Total Croatia News

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The new terminal of the Zagreb Airport cost over 300 million euros, but it seems that the budget did not include any funds for professional translation services.

Although it has been several days since the opening of the new terminal at the “Franjo Tuđman” International Airport in Zagreb, the beautiful new terminal is still a frequent topic of discussions in Croatia, reports Index.hr on March 30, 2017.

First it was revealed that the team which spent over 300 million euros on construction of the supermodern terminal had taken its visual identity from a free internet service.

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The management later announced that the logo was a result of the hard work of graphic designers who allegedly tried to connect the history of the Zagreb Airport and the future of the current concessionaire. “The logo represents the strong values and knowledge of the staff,” they wrote in the description of the free vector graphics which they just adjusted to the official colours of the airport.

However, it seems that sloppiness and laziness of people in charge of the new terminal does not stop only at images taken from the internet.

The new terminal building is full of illiterate signs and translations from Croatian to English and vice versa. Perhaps, just like with the logo, they decided to simply turn to the internet. Google Translate is a relatively easy service to use.

So, when people come to the airport to depart from the new, super-modern terminal whose construction cost more than 300 million euros, the first thing they will see is a notice “Boarding Card Control”. Instead of using the much more frequent term “boarding pass”, which is clearly what is being meant here, someone has decided to literally translate the Croatian expression and write “boarding card”.

Even worse example is the sign for the toilet for disabled persons which reads “toilet disabled”, which would more likely make people think that the toilet actually does not work at all.

It seems that the new terminal is actually just continuing the tradition from the old one. Near one of the gates in the international departures area of the old terminal there was a sign saying “Cigar Celler” instead of, presumably, “Cigar Cellar”. Interestingly, in Croatia there is a similar word “celer” meaning “celery”, so maybe it was a kind of gastro-cigar combination.

It goes without saying that the catastrophic translations in the new terminal have provoked mass ridicule on social networks.


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