TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An American travel YouTuber on Saturday (Nov. 28) posted video of the "funniest sign" he had ever seen at the head of a mountain trail in southern Taiwan, prompting a government agency to implement corrections.
On Saturday, Asher Leiss, who hails from North Carolina and goes by the handle Xiaofei (小飛) posted a video of what he described as the 'funny English translation" on a mountain road in Tainan City's Nanhua Township. Within a day, a relevant government agency announced that it is taking action to rectify the matter.
While riding a scooter on the winding roads of Nanhua Township, Leiss promised to show viewers the "funniest sign I've ever seen" with an English translation that is "just amazing." He first points out that the sign for Liou Yi Shan Trail (六義山步道) has been posted by the Pingtung Forest District Office of the Forestry Bureau, which falls under the purview of the Cabinet's Council of Agriculture.
At first, the sign seems fairly straightforward, with markings showing the trail entrances and admonishments to hikers to stick to the trail and properly dispose of garbage and not startle animals. Leiss, who is currently based in Kaoshiung, first concedes that he struggles to read all the characters in the Chinese-language version of the sign.
When he drops down to the English version, he is immediately hit with a fragmented word from a broken sentence which cryptically reads "mbracing the world." The next sentence announces that "For the first time ever, FanFiction.Net is proud to announce full language compatibility to almost all languages on the planet."
The paragraph continues to proudly announce that an upgrade has been implemented that improves the ability to accept and display non-English language content. In other words, the English text has absolutely nothing to do with the trail or Liuyi Mountain and appears to have been directly copied and pasted from a fan fiction forum.
(YouTube, Xiaofei screenshot)
Leiss pointed out that at no one bothered to proof the English and at no stage in the production process, be it the office, printers, or installation of the sign did anyone "sort of notice this." He argued that even a non-English speaker should have noticed something was awry because the last word is a website domain name.
Leiss then said that if government agencies need help checking the English in signs, "Feel free to email me first." He closed by thanking the government for the "mostly good work" with the trails and suggested keeping the sign as is because it "made my day.
In response, an official from the Pingtung Forest District Office, who identified himself as Chen Chih-ying (陳至瑩), left a comment below the video on Sunday (Nov. 29): "After obtaining this information yesterday, the Pingtung Forest District Office has immediately started to revise and update. We will be more cautious in the future, and hope that after this Xiaofei can continue to give us advice."
Chen, who is the head of the Recreation Division of the Forest Management Department of Pingtung, was cited by FTV News as saying on Monday (Nov. 30) that they will review the production process for the sign to see where the error occurred. "We will also review related administrative responsibilities," said Chen.
The sign in question. (pingtung.forest.gov.tw photo)