Friday, May 29, 2009

More wet floor signage

At this late date we have a follow-up to one of our most heavily trafficked blog posts, "The Example of the Wet Floor Sign." In that post we gave as an example of the difficulty in obtaining both semantic and rhythmic equivalence in the transfer of meaning from source language to target, the problem of wet floor signs (native to supermarket aisles and institutional corridors). "Caution: Wet Floor" being an insufficiently musical translation of "Cuidado: Piso Mojado," our PBJ crew suggested "Caution: We're Washin'." Now, Ilya Gutner, our New York City correspondent, suggests an alternative rendering:

Don't forget,
Floor is wet.

This is the nitty-gritty, nuts-and-bolts of translation, folks. It doesn't get more real than this.