Language can be a funny thing, and when you're in the business of serving people from around the world, you better make sure you're on the top of your language game. Translations are important for any business that deals with other languages, but restaurants, more than any other business, really need to make sure that the words they're using are the right ones.
After all you don't want to tell someone that their steak is made of cardboard, or their spaghetti is actually a plate of shoe laces.
The Erbil International Hotel in Iraq is trying it's best to offer world-class service to those who stay with them. They have gorgeous rooms, comfortable beds, and friendly service. They have 5 unique restaurants that offer a variety of food, each with highly respected chefs.
In an attempt to make their English-speaking guests feel more at home, the hotel had all their dishes translated. It seems like the plan hit a snag when it came to the meatballs.
Diners had the startling death announcement right between the steamed rice and cheesy broccoli. I imagine more than a few eye brows were raised at the ominous note right over top balls of ground meat.
How could this mistake happen?
A native Arabic speaker explained how tasty meatballs can become "Paul is dead."
"Meat ball in English sounds like 'Mayit Baul' which means 'Dead Paul," tweeted Hend Amry.
Well when you put it like that...I'll take a dozen Dead Paul's please.
While the mistake is regrettable, the hotel might end up getting some good press because of it. A tweet of the card has been retweeted over 15,000 times, and it's still going. Iraq is still struggling to get back on its feet, and is under a travel advisory for most of the Western world. If you are planning to visit though, consider staying at Erbil International Hotel, and try the Paul is Deads.