STB to correct Lau Pa Sat sign and tighten translation process

SINGAPORE -The Lau Pa Sat sign which was incorrectly translated has been removed and will be corrected, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said in a statement on Friday.

STB also said that it will tighten the process of translating its brown signs, which indicate tourist attractions or landmarks.

"We had notified the operator and they had taken immediate steps to remove the sign and work on correcting the translation," Ms Ranita Sundramoorthy, director of attractions, dining and retail said in the statement, referring to the erroneous Lau Pa Sat sign.

She added that the board will ensure the new sign is checked by language experts.

A photo of the sign, which translated "Sat" as "Sani" or Saturday in Tamil, was being circulated on social networks. The word can have a negative connotation, and can be used to curse people.

Mr Samikannu Sithambaram, president of the Singapore Tamil Teachers' Union, told The Straits Times on Thursday that the mistake could have come about because the translators thought that "Sat" in Lau Pa Sat was a truncation of "Saturday".

STB said that owners of attractions are required to get a qualified translator for their signs, but it will add a layer of checks for them.

"We will tighten the process further to mandate a system of checks on translations for compliance by all brown sign applicants," said Ms Sundramoorthy.

chuimin@sph.com.sg