Nope, nothing to do with the “matzav” (current situation).
Sorry if you clicked through because of that.
Nope, if you know anything about me, it’s that spelling and grammar mistakes on Israeli signs amuse me to no end.
Two things about this sign intrigued me.
(Three if you count our biggest question – what the $#!% is the name of the street we were standing on, with the missing street sign?!? To this day, we still don’t know.)
Following this post the day before went to Tzfat about the mystery of English place names in Israel, I was reminded by about a million highway signs that the main spelling of the city’s name, in English, is actually Zefat.
Beyond the weird spelling, on the sign up on top, there’s also a subtle grammatical mistake that makes, in this case, all the difference in the world.
This street is named in memory of the
12 22 children of Tzfat (thanks to a reader for pointing out my mistake with the numerology), it says in Hebrew, who were killed in the 1974 massacre in Maalot.
But that’s not exactly what it says in English; there, the passive voice has been mangled to an extreme, turning the 12 victims into murderers.
Given the tragedy behind the story, perhaps it’s disrespectful to find fault with something as nitpicky as a translation. And yet… and yet. How else are you going to get your nation’s story across, if not with language? It’s not like there are no English speakers in Tzfat who they could have asked for the proper translation.
I guess my serious point is that if your lousy translations make the history of a place seem clownish or insignificant, there’s a big chunk of visitors who aren’t going to appreciate the important stuff.
By “big chunk,” I mean me. And others like me. There must be others like me… right?
Put up your hand: are you a spelling-and-grammar stickler, too?