Ridiculous Street Signs #9- Beware of Snatch Thief- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

a yellow sign with a person pushing a bottle

While walking back to our hotel after dinner one night in Kuala Lumpur, Kim spotted this really great sign. I was really tired and not paying much attention. Good thing Kim was on the lookout!

When Kim pointed out the sign, it more or less woke me up. I stopped for a couple of minutes to take some photos and had a good laugh about it. I’d guess that most of us would get the point of the sign based on the awesome graphic.

a yellow sign with a black and white sign

Luckily, right below the sign was another sign. On it was an explanation of what the picture above meant. The sign had the meaning in both Malaysian and English! Perfect, it’s not like I would understand anything written in Malay!

The message on the sign in English was  “Beware of snatch thief” and in Malay it said “Berhati-hati dengan peragut“.

I decided to look up the message written in Malay with Google Translate. I wanted to see how closely the words were translated into English. I assumed there had to be a better definition than beware of snatch thief!

I went to Google Translate and got a very different answer. Google said that berhati-hati dengan peragut meant careful grazing.

I would love to know how the sign went from meaning careful grazing to beware of snatch thief?

Either way, I think that we all get the message and will be careful grazing and take precaution to beware of snatch thief if visiting Kuala Lumpur!

2 thoughts on “Ridiculous Street Signs #9- Beware of Snatch Thief- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  1. “Ragut” basically means “to pull away”.

    “Pe” is a Malay language prefix which means “doer”. “Pe” + “Ragut” = a man who pulls away = the guy who grabs your handbag and runs away.

    Also, “Pe” + “ragut” = the cow which pulls grass away from the ground = an animal which grazes.

    Apparently google translate cannot distinguish between human and non-human doer.

    By the way, the most authentic Malay-English dictionary translates a human “peragut” as “snatcher”, not “snatch thief”. ( thank God )

    I am not a native English speaker but I was thinking of the vulgar context.

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