Marathi Translations at Mumbai Stations goes Wrong; ‘Please don’t drop a step’ write Railways in Stickers

Shruti Venkatesh
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Marathi Translations at Mumbai Stations goes Wrong; ‘Please don’t drop a step’ write Railways in Stickers

The translations have led to some real gaffes by the Mumbai Railway authorities

The fact that things often get ‘lost in translation’ is something we all know. But in this case, it has also led to some real gaffes by the Mumbai Railway authorities. In their endeavour to encourage passengers to use the foot over-bridges (FoB), the railways had put up stickers on the steps of these bridges. The problem arose when they converted the Hindi and English messages written on the stickers in Marathi, and this led to some non-sensical sentences getting pasted onto the steps. 

Elphinstone Railway Station Stampede: 27 Dead, Several Injured; How it Happened

Following the unfortunate stampede at Elphinstone Road railway station on September 29 where 23 people lost their lives, the railways introduced stickers in three languages – English, Hindi and Marathi – to instil a civic sense in commuters. The stickers prompt commuters to watch their step, hold handrails while walking over the bridges. However, the messages are lost in translation The stickers on the FOB of Santacruz and Goregaon railway stations, reportedly read, ‘Krupaya lahan chendu gheu naka’. This, in marathi, means, ‘Please do not use small ball’, whereas the intended message was, ‘Please do not use shortcuts’.

Similarly, messages put up at Elphinstone Road station post the stampede say, ‘Krupaya ektar bajula theva’, which literally means, ‘Please keep aside either’, when the intended advice is, ‘Please walk on one side’. Another example of a hilarious translation is Krupaya ek pauool vagalu naka’, which means, ‘Please don’t drop a step’ instead of ‘Please don’t miss a step’. There are also several typos as reported in Hindustan Times, which include ‘Krupaya handroil dharun theva’, which commuters have to interpret as ‘Please hold the hand rail’.

Here is a tweet by a commuter that shows the hilarious translations:

An article in the Hindustan Times states that Google Translate was used to convert English messages into Marathi. The railway authorities have been alerted about the wrong interpretations and they have apologised for the errors. They have also said that these will be rectified immediately. Mukul Jain, divisional railway manager, tweeted that this is an inadvertent error. “Concerned officials have been advised to strictly ensure the translations and grammar are correct. We will ensure that proper language is used,” he said.