Avoiding multilingual gaffes
Thread poster: Richard Bartholomew

Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:02
Member (2007)
German to English
Jul 16, 2008

Check out the article at http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/07/smallbusiness/language_translation.fsb/index.htm . Does the author mention any multilingual gaffes that you haven't already heard? I particularly enjoyed "...an antipsychotic medication that translated to "dogs are afraid of me" in Mandarin."

Has anyone here ever warned a customer about the "unintended connotations" of a marketing phrase or name? If so, would you care to share?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:02
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Politics in advertising Jul 16, 2008

I noticed once on a potential client's English-language website, the slogan "Take a step to the right." When I pointed out the political connotations, and suggested that they meant something like "take a step forward" or "make the right move," that was the last I ever heard from them, although I had done a sample editing job, they had seemingly approved my rates, and we had had quite a bit of back-and-forth email. Perhaps they were offended. I notice the English-language website now no longer exits. (I also notice the company is now advertising for translators at a much lower rate than mine, however.)

Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Avoiding multilingual gaffes

Advanced search







BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs