English is the world's international language. It is often used to explain things to tourists coming in from other countries.
But while English is well known, it's not always well written, resulting in some truly, although unintentional, comic signs. Here are some of my all-time favorite broken English signs:
In a Vienna hotel:
In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter.
A sign posted in Germany's Black Forest:
It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose.
In a Zurich hotel:
Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.
In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist:
Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.
A translated sentence from a Russian chess book:
A lot of water has been passed under the bridge since this variation has been played.
In a Rome laundry outlet:
Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.
In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency:
Take one of our horse-driven city tours—we guarantee no miscarriages.
Advertisement for donkey rides in Thailand:
Would you like to ride on your own ass?
On the faucet in a Finnish washroom:
To stop the drip, turn cock to right.
In the window of a Swedish furrier:
Fur coats made for ladies from their own skin.
On the box of a clockwork toy made in Hong Kong:
Guaranteed to work throughout its useful life.
In a Swiss mountain inn:
On the menu of a Polish hotel:
Special today—no ice cream.
Salad a firm's own make; limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rashers beaten up in the country people's fashion.
In a Hong Kong supermarket:
For your convenience, we recommend courageous, efficient self-service.
Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop:
Ladies may have a fit upstairs.
In a Bangkok dry cleaner's:
Drop your trousers here for best results.
Outside a Paris dress shop:
Dresses for street walking.
In a Rhodes tailor shop:
Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.
Similarly, from the Soviet Weekly:
There will be a Moscow Exhibition of Arts by 15,000 Soviet Republic painters and sculptors. These were executed over the past two years.
In a Tokyo Hotel:
Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not person to do such thing is please not to read this.
In another Japanese hotel room:
Please to bathe inside the tub.
In a Bucharest hotel lobby:
The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.
In a Leipzig elevator:
Do not enter the lift backwards, and only when lit up.
In a Belgrade hotel elevator:
To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.
In a Paris hotel elevator:
Please leave your values at the front desk.
In a hotel in Athens:
Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.
In a Yugoslavian hotel:
The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.
In a Japanese hotel:
You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.
In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery:
You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.
In an Austrian hotel catering to skiers:
Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.
On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:
Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.
In an East African newspaper:
A new swimming pool is rapidly taking shape since the contractors have thrown in the bulk of their workers.
In a Bangkok temple:
It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.
In a Tokyo bar:
Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.
In a Copenhagen airline ticket office:
We take your bags and send them in all directions.
On the door of a Moscow hotel room:
If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it.
In a Norwegian cocktail lounge:
Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.
At a Budapest zoo:
Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.
In the office of a Roman doctor:
Specialist in women and other diseases.
In an Acapulco hotel:
The manager has personally passed all the water served here.
In a Tokyo shop:
Our nylons cost more than common, but you'll find they are best in the long run.
From a Japanese information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner:
Coolers and Heaters: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself.
From a brochure of a car rental firm in Tokyo:
When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.
Two signs from a Majorcan shop entrance:
English well talking.
Here speeching American.