I’d like some money, please

currencies available

X 12 foreign currencies available to exchange to Japanese Yen.

Tim says:

“Available” means 「入手できる」, so if you say that something is “available”, I think I can get it. So this shop is giving away foreign currencies that I can use to buy yen with? I don’t have to exchange my own money? Sounds good to me!

The sign shouldn’t say that the currencies are available; it should say that it’s possible to exchange them here.

O We can exchange these 12 foreign currencies into Japanese Yen.


Advice from a talking taco

Now it's so busy

X We’re sorry ,but now it’s so busy, no tables available. Wait in the line.

Tim says:

There are various, minor problems with this sign. The comma placement in the first sentence is odd. The first one should have a space after it, rather than before it!

“It’s so busy” sounds too conversational for a sign; perhaps even a little childish. “Now” would sound more natural if placed after “busy.” The comma after it should be a semicolon (;), OR replace the comma with “that there are”: “it’s so busy that there are no tables available.” (開いているテーブルがないほど混んでいます)And “wait in the line” sounds a bit too direct, a little rude.

Here’s a better way to phrase the whole sign:

O We’re sorry, but there are currently no tables available. Please wait.


This space is on fire

Free smoking space

X Free smoking space

Tim says:

This sign is rather unclear. “Free”? Do smokers usually have to pay in order to find a space to smoke?!

I assume this “free” is a translation of 「自由」, but in English it appears to mean 無料. I think what they mean to say is:

O Smoking area available


Quiz No. 294




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Not available: 2000 • 5000 • 10000 bills

X Not available 2000 • 5000 • 10000 BILLS

和英辞典に調べたら、「Not available」の意味は「使用出来ない」だと書いてありますが、実はそうではないケースが多いです。ネーティブは、以上の標識を見ると「この機会からお金は手に入りません」とか「この機会が2千円さつ出しません」とかの意味だと思ってしまいます。

この場合では、お客さんはもうお金を持っているでしょう。お金が手に入る場合ではないので、「available」とは使用出来ません!You can’t use it!

O This machine does not accept 2000, 5000, or 10,000 yen bills.