The mystery of the official stamp typo

Did you know that the Austrian Go Federation’s official stamp used to contain a typo? Nobody knew what it meant for many years, but it was used anyway to mark official documents signed by the Austrian Go Federation’s president (which is me now, by the way).


Old stamp and new stamp.


Old stamp close-up


The change.

In Chinese, “Austria” is written as 奥地利 or 奧地利 Ào dì lì which can be found on the new stamp. (The following 棋院 qí yuàn means something along the lines of “Go institute”.)
On the old one, however, the second character was off: 太 tài is obviously completely different from 地 .

Several sinophone people having asked me what it meant, I have always thought and answered them that this was a typo made by whoever designed the old stamp.

Anyway, just now, it finally dawned on me that 墺太利 was never meant to be read in Chinese. It is the Japanese word for Austria, pronounced (and usually written as) オーストリア oosutoria.
I have never seen the kanji used anywhere else other than on this stamp, hence the confusion. (I’m not even sure that Japanese people know these kanji^^)

Thanks to commenter Juergonaut who noticed that the new stamp contains an actual typo, in the German part no less!

2 thoughts on “The mystery of the official stamp typo

  1. 有意思啊 🙂 btw. was “ÖSTERREICHISCHER GO-VERBAND” intentionally transformed to “ÖSTERREICHSCHER GO-VERBAND” on the new stamp, missing the ‘I’?


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