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Off topic: Those gaffes in full
Thread poster: xxx00000000
xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
Nov 17, 2003

Claire Cozens
Monday November 17, 2003

KFC's "finger lickin' good" slogan was mistranslated in China as "eat your fingers off".

The Ford Pinto flopped when it was launched in Brazil. Mystified executives later learned "pinto" is local slang for small genitals.

The slogan "Nothing sucks like Electrolux" did little for the vacuum cleaner's sales in the US.

Lager brand Coors' slogan, "turn it loose", became "suffer from diarrhoea" in Spanish.

"Pepsi brings you back to life" was translated into Chinese as "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave".

The Rolls-Royce Silver Mist range had to be renamed for Germany because mist means "excrement" in German.

From The Guardian (what a nice newspaper!)
http://media.guardian.co.uk/advertising/story/0,7492,1085570,00.html


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xxxTransflux
Local time: 22:28
French to English
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Oh no not again! Nov 17, 2003

Esther Pfeffer wrote:

Claire Cozens
Monday November 17, 2003

KFC's "finger lickin' good" slogan was mistranslated in China as "eat your fingers off".

The Ford Pinto flopped when it was launched in Brazil. Mystified executives later learned "pinto" is local slang for small genitals.

The slogan "Nothing sucks like Electrolux" did little for the vacuum cleaner's sales in the US.

Lager brand Coors' slogan, "turn it loose", became "suffer from diarrhoea" in Spanish.

"Pepsi brings you back to life" was translated into Chinese as "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave".

The Rolls-Royce Silver Mist range had to be renamed for Germany because mist means "excrement" in German.

From The Guardian (what a nice newspaper!)
http://media.guardian.co.uk/advertising/story/0,7492,1085570,00.html[/quote]

Not these boring mistranslations again! Well I suppose it makes us "professionals" who never make mistakes, puff our chests out in pride. But I do agree the Guardian is a nice newspaper.

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R. James
United States
Local time: 16:28
Portuguese to English
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Actually Nov 17, 2003

I too was hoping to see a bit more variation in the Guardian article... "The Gaffes In Full" was a really tempting name for an article that turned out to be not quite that...

(though the great Punjabi sauce article was worth the trip: http://media.guardian.co.uk/advertising/story/0,7492,1085561,00.html)

Anyone hear of a place to find some fresh, ridiculous mistranslations? Tell!


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MJ Barber  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:28
Spanish to English
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one I hadn't seen Nov 20, 2003

hmmm, we've all seen those "tootle him melodiously" and "all water has been passed by the manager" translations so many times, that it was a surprise to find one that I, at least, hadn't seen before. Excuse me if it's been posted already:

Locum is a Swedish company. In 1991, they sent Christmas cards to all of their customers. They thought they would give their logo a little holiday spirit, by substituting a little heart for the letter "o". For some reason, they also used all lowercase letters. The lowercase "L" can therefore be easily misunderstood to be an "i", and the locum logo looked like one of those "I love ..." bumper stickers, with an unfortunate pornographic sentiment to it.

example here:

http://www.skrattnet.com/sex/ilovecum.asp


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:28
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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Ambiguous headlines Nov 25, 2003

Newspaper editors, in their desire to save space, make headlines as brief as possible, sometimes with ambiguous results.
There is some correspondence going on in the 'Daily Telegraph' at present on this subject.

Two examples from the Second World War:

"Eighth Army push bottles up Germans"

"Legless VC opens pub"

One originally from a cricket commentary, naming two of the players:
"The batsman's Holding, the bowler's Willie".

Any other examples (in any language)?


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