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Many of the official signs in Xhosa that are appearing around the Western Cape are a fiasco.
The signs are so badly translated that they have been described as "meaningless and offensive".
Like the one advising pregnant women to phone a clinic when they are in labour, translated as "phone the clinic when your tummy is running".
Or the sign that should tell people they can book for a picnic, but saying instead "you can bring book for picnics".
A Cape Town road sign proclaiming "no hawking" has been mistranslated into Xhosa as "no walking", completely baffling pedestrians.
And the one telling people that drinking is prohibited on a beach informs them instead "there is no alcohol here", in effect an invitation to bring their own booze.
Instead of making Xhosa-speaking people feel welcome, the signage baffles, misleads and annoys them.
This revelation follows Cape Town Mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo's statement that black people do not feel welcome in the city. Ironically, some of the absurd signs have been put up by her own municipality.
Language experts have blamed carelessness and negative attitudes for the poor Xhosa translations on official signs on roads, at beaches, hospitals and other public places. Translators appear to be unqualified or have relied solely on dictionaries.
Xhosa is one of three official languages in the province, with English and Afrikaans, but the translation into Xhosa at government, provincial and municipal institutions, heritage sites and public spaces has been found to be ridiculous.
Language experts say those who commission translations see this indigenous language as valueless and treat it as less important than Afrikaans or English.
"When people want translations into Afrikaans they will get qualified translators, editors and proof-readers, but when it comes to Xhosa they just drag in anybody," said Tessa Dowling, director of the African Voices language institution in Muizenberg.
Sydney Zotwana, former head of translation services in parliament, said another problem was the lack of standardisation of the language. Xhosa, along with other African languages, was struggling to cope with the new parliamentary, scientific and technological concepts.
Dowling and Wynberg Girls' High School Xhosa teacher Thandi Mpambo-Sibukwana recently did a study which showed signage translation was appalling. An example, which Mpambo-Sibukwana described as the worst, was at the Afrikaanse Taal Monument in Paarl.
The sign "you can book for picnics" has been translated into Xhosa as meaning "you can bring book for picnics".