Translation Industry News | 30.01.2010

Birmingham spricht Deutsch

The German language seems to be taking over in Birmingham! Not only do the people who come to man the annual German Christmas market speak German, it appears that ticket machines in Birmingham also prefer to speak in Deutsch.

Drivers trying to park in Brunel Street car park in Birmingham were recently encountered by a German message, which translated as “this car park is full”. The ticket machine, which usually gives instructions in English, changes to German when the car park is full to capacity. The council are hoping to have the issue resolved by next week, but in the meantime they have stuck a sign on the machine with an explanation and an English translation.

Motorists have been amused by the ticket machine’s apparent preference to speak German, but so far no one knows quite what caused this software error.

It isn’t the first time that Birmingham has had a linguistic identity crisis. A number of years ago visitors to the big wheel were greeted by a French voice describing Paris.

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