‘Arabic’ sign in Swedish station ‘unreadable’

Recently erected signs up at Malmö Central station are supposed to warn travellers that they must keep an eye on their luggage. The trouble is, the Arabic translation is utter nonsense, Swedish media are reporting.

‘Arabic’ sign in Swedish station ‘unreadable’
Malmö Central. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The main problem with the text is that it’s written back-to-front. Arabic is read from right to the left but this seems to be written from left to right.

On Facebook many puzzled users suggested that the new sign was perhaps written in Kurdish or Persian. But it’s supposed to be Arabic.

Cecilia Granath, press officer of the station’s operator, Jernhusen, told Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan: “If this is true, then this is very unfortunate. We had help from Red Cross interpreters and the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket). They told us that it is difficult to make a precise direct translation from Swedish to Arabic.”

“However, we will check on it. If it is wrong, we obviously put up a new sign.”

Just two months ago Landskrona in southern Sweden attempted to introduce new immigrants to sport and culture in the town by including information in Arabic in a new brochure. But the text used was described as 'incomprehensible' by residents who spoke the language.