Every country has its own set of rules and customs that visitors may not initially be aware of. To meet the demands of the growing tourism industry, many governments have opted to implement multi-lingual signs and websites. Sometimes, however, the translations cause much more confusion than they prevent, like with this list of jobs foreigners aren’t allowed to do in Thailand.

Recently a similar goof occurred in India, this time due to some curiously mistranslated signage posted inside the Chennai International Airport, leaving visitors both amused and confused.

Justin Ross Lee, the creator behind the mens’ fashion accessory shop Pretentious Pocket, happened upon this strange, cautionary sign while flying through Chennai Airport last month.

Going off the English translation alone, it’s hard to figure out what exactly the airport is prohibiting. Should hungry passengers avoid consuming the literal carpet, or is it telling people to refrain from going down on their partners in public? I mean we’ve heard of tourists doing some pretty crazy things, but surely these are both things that should go without saying, right?

Thankfully one commenter eventually solved the mystery, writing in that better translation of the original Hindi would be, “Sitting and eating on the carpet (i.e. while in the carpeted area) is prohibited.” By then, however, the post had already gone viral on both Facebook and Instagram before being picked up by a Pakistani newspaper.

While it seems unfair to expect flawless English from non-native English-speaking countries, when it comes to official signage, it’s probably a good idea to go a through reputable source and have it double-checked first.

On the bright side, even if the sign didn’t do its job of conveying the proper message, it at least gave visitors a good chuckle.

Source: UPI, Facebook/Justin Ross Lee
Top image: Facebook/Justin Ross Lee