A Lady from Australia (Kristen Perry) has been ordered to remove her car license plate by the local authorities as it has an alternative translation into a rude word in the Filipino language. Her license plate reads “Kiki” which is her nickname that links in with her Greek heritage but the Filipino translation is something a lot more embarrassing and potentially offensive as the translation refers to a private area of the female body.
Authorities in New South Wales have received complaints about the Filipino translation of her license plate. Filipino residents were offended by the translation of Perry’s personal license plate that was given to her as a gift by her husband five years ago.
Perry said that she was not aware of the Filipino translation of her name and that she is highly embarrassed that people have been calling her that all her life. She was asked to provide proof that she had a just reason for her license plate to contain the word “Kiki” or else the authorities would have permanently confiscated the license. However the public local to New South Wales have rallied round to support around her and as a result have lobbied the authorities to accept that she was unaware of the Filipino translation of her private license plate. In response to the large public demand the local authorities have agreed to take a common sense approach and not confiscate her license as a result of the rude translation.
It does bring up the serious issue though that personal license plate owners should take care to ensure that their license plates do not carry potentially offensive word or expletives that could offend. This case from Australia makes it look like these guidelines have the potential to be carried over into foreign translations of private license plates as well.