Language focus | 12.03.2010

Cockney ATM machines – localisation gone mad?

An ATM machine in London has come up with a new idea of displaying its commands in Cockney Slang, is this localisation gone mad – or just a little bit of fun?

According to Ron Delnevo, managing director of Bank Machine; the company responsible for these unique cash points; he “…wanted to introduce something fun and of local interest to our London machines”. Bank Machine claim the sole aim was for amusement and is now planning to create Glaswegian, Brummie, Geordie and Scouse versions of the Cockney cash machines. These novelty cash machines seem to be a great idea; they’re good fun and have created a lot of interest in various local dialects, and could be an excellent way of keeping these dialects alive. However, there have been cases reported where people using the machine have found the Cockney cash machines to be extremely bewildering, reporting that the machine is speaking ‘Gibberish’. If the public who use the machine are unable to understand what they are being asked to do on the Cockney cash machine (or indeed any of the other dialects) it is more likely to cause confusion rather than enjoyment. In one instance a local shop keeper put an ‘out of order’ sign on one of the Cockney cash machines believing it to be broken; this surely defeats the point.

Many cash machines already offer customers the option to select an alternative language, however, how many of us would honestly chose the Cockney option when English is already available? If you were to be asked for your ‘Huckleberry Finn’ would you enter your Pin, and if you were prompted to select how much ‘sausage and mash’ you wanted, would you press the button for £10.00 cash? If indeed they are a bit of fun, for those of us who don’t speak Cockney, it could make our trip to the cash machine a little tricky and baffling!

The Translation People may not be able to help you when you’re stuck at a Cockney Cash machine in East London, but please feel free to give us a call if French, Spanish, Chinese or any other foreign language is causing you a problem.

Need help with a translation?
Get in touch with us

Whether you have a specific project you want to discuss, need a translation quote or simply want to discuss your requirements, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Get in Touch