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lost in translation...
May 1, 2007
3:28 pm
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just for a laugh

Oops! Some Bigtime Marketing Screw Ups

1. Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose," into Spanish, where it was read as
> > > "Suffer from diarrhea."

2. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign:

> > >"Nothing sucks like an Electrolux."

3. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into German, only to find out
that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for
> > > the "manure stick."

4. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I saw the Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read

> > >"I saw the potato" (la papa).

5. Pepsi's "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into
> > > "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave", in Chinese.

6. Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "it takes a strong man to make a tender chicken"
was translated into Spanish as
> > >"it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."

7. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Ke-kou-ke-la", meaning
> > > "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the
dialect.
Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent

> > >"ko-kou-ko-le", translating into "happiness in the mouth."

8. When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, "it won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you". Instead, the company thought that the word "embarazar" (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read:

> > >"It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."

May 1, 2007
3:53 pm
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Randomwomen2
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I have another one for you. The reason why the car nova never sold in any Spanish speaking country is because the word nova translates into Spanish as "Wont go" or No Va

May 1, 2007
3:55 pm
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Randomwomen2
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holy cow those are so funny

May 1, 2007
9:59 pm
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glad you liked them, RW. Nice to see you around again.

May 3, 2007
6:25 pm
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Rasputin
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ROFLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

That was hilarious. Thanks a lot Kroika!!!xoxoxo

May 4, 2007
12:09 am
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Anonymous
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I loved it, Kroika! Being a translator myself, I got a good kick out of it. Of course, that´s cuz they weren´t my translations, he he!

May 4, 2007
9:21 am
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Matteo
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The truth is that Electrolux is a great vacuum cleaner with very powerful suction and doesn't suck at all. Lol!

Who would think that some products are so powerful and almighty: "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave" - this one is my favorite!

Never thought that chicken can be affectionate, but then apparently I also underestimated the power of man's sexual desire: "it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate." No wonder there are so many broken hearts around - women don't stand any chance if even a chicken can fall in love after being sexually desired by man! Just imagine: the feathery lover. Do they loose their heads over men too?

I've just had my laugh of the day to tears, thanks to you, kroika.

May 4, 2007
9:23 am
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bevdee
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"the feathery lover" Hahahaha

Tickle your a** with a feather?

May 4, 2007
9:29 am
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Matteo
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Inevitably!

May 4, 2007
3:47 pm
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OK you guys.... I confess.

I abbreviated the list which was originally a "top ten" list, because I was copying it for my niece, who has two small children, and I thought #4 might upset her. Here it is:

4. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the U.S., with the beautiful Caucasian baby on the label.
> > > Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what's inside, since most people can't read.

And I also left out #5 for a similar reason... my niece had asked me to send her something funny to cheer her up, and so I did a little more censoring. For the translators among us, perhaps this is not too upsetting:

5. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a
> > > notorious porno magazine.

May 4, 2007
5:39 pm
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Matteo
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The Gerber screw up has nothing to do with translation, but how insensitive of Gerber not to make a research market beforehand. Aside from that a baby picture shouldn't be on the label, didn't they realize that babies in Africa most of the times have darker complexion?

Just like Crayola named their crayon "flesh" before they finally realized that oh my goodness, actually not everybody's flesh is the same colour, dough! and finally changed the name to "peach".

May 4, 2007
5:53 pm
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Anonymous
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How impregnating, I mean, embarassing! he, he

May 4, 2007
7:30 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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Colgate in Spanish means Go hang yourself.

May 4, 2007
9:09 pm
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ha ha, TT,

so even if they changed the offending name of the product, the brand name remained offensive.

Or ke-kou-ke-la... not offensive, just bewildering. "Bite the wax tadpole".

I love that one the most. It seems like a real rallying cry for nihilists:
BITE THE WAX TADPOLE!

May 4, 2007
11:15 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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Yes If I am ever at a loss for words now I will have what to say. BITE THE WAX TADPOLE. These words can inspire us to do better Just bite the wax tadpole and do what needs to be done. It be use to change the subject if something unpleasant comes up. Oh speaking of the sweat on my ex's jock strap ....Bite the wax tadpole. It could also be used a swearword in place of real swear wirds=, Oh go bit the wax tadpole you B#$%sd.

May 4, 2007
11:31 pm
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Randomwomen2
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Oh Dear

May 5, 2007
3:25 pm
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Anonymous
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There this joke about an Asian guy and an American guy doing a car manufacturing deal, where of course the Asian English is lost in... interpretation. You may have heard of it, so I hope I get it right. It goes more or less like this:

The tells the Asian:

American - Our company wants the two new cars manufactured at the most till the end of the year and ...

Asian - Datsoon? (That soon?)

American - ... and we need that you come upe with two names for them...

Asian - Datwha? (That what?)

American - Good, Datsun and Daewoo are good names for them...

I make my studs aware that pronunciation is important by telling them examples such as ship, sheet and ykw, course and curse... That usually convinces them to twist their tongues!

May 5, 2007
10:38 pm
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Anonymous
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Oh, I killed the thread?

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