Olympic shorts: Westfield's Arab welcome is lost in translation

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The Independent Online

It may be a retail Mecca, but the Westfield shopping complex in Stratford has a long way to go in giving Arabic speakers a proper welcome.

Erected in its hangar-like halls are banners proudly proclaiming "Welcome to London" in Arabic. Alas, those more conversant in the language than Westfield staff pointed out that the messages translate into English as: "N O D N O L O T E M O C L E W." Say it quickly, and it perhaps appropriately sounds like "No, not a clue". Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding said: "It beggars belief they cannot even write "welcome" in Arabic. What will our Olympic guests be thinking? It is cringeworthy." Westfield said the banners are being reprinted.

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