Ten marketing slogans – lost in translation

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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:46
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Hilarious Aug 2, 2013

Thanks for posting!

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Anna Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 08:46
Member
German to Swedish
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Infart & Utfart Aug 2, 2013

Haha! They must have had a laugh at IKEA the day they named the product... Fartfull is absolutely normal to the Swede. Thanks for posting!

English-speaking visitors in Sweden who visit for the first time find our "Infart" (entrance) and "Utfart" (exit) hilarious.

Not to mention "Farthinder" (speed bump/sleeping policeman) - I'm not joking; Swedes always look out for the Farthinder : - ) "Ooops! What happened to the car?" - "It was just a farthinder!" http://www.thelocal.se/discuss/uploads/monthly_06_2009/post-18614-1244476254.jpg


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Marcelo Genuino  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:46
English to Portuguese
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Funny Aug 2, 2013

Anna Wiman wrote:

Haha! They must have had a laugh at IKEA the day they named the product... Fartfull is absolutely normal to the Swede. Thanks for posting!

English-speaking visitors in Sweden who visit for the first time find our "Infart" (entrance) and "Utfart" (exit) hilarious.

Not to mention "Farthinder" (speed bump/sleeping policeman) - I'm not joking; Swedes always look out for the Farthinder : - ) "Ooops! What happened to the car?" - "It was just a farthinder!" http://www.thelocal.se/discuss/uploads/monthly_06_2009/post-18614-1244476254.jpg


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 12:16
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
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My favourite case Aug 3, 2013

My favourite is the case of a high-end car model being currently marketed in India with the name Laura. Now in Hindi r routinely gets pronounced as d and you can ask any Hindi speaking person what Laura spelt with a d can mean in Hindi, or you can run it through Google Talk to find out. If I say it here, this post will get deleted by moderators for obscenity.

Obviously, the car manufactures who would have spent millions of dollars in product design and marketing, pinched the pennies in getting the brand name checked for offensive meanings in the Indian market, and this just shows that in translation, especially marketing kind of translation, an indepth knowledge of the source culture is absolutely necessary.


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Denise Phelps  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:46
Spanish to English
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Your favourite case Aug 3, 2013

Balasubramaniam wrote:

"My favourite case 3 Aug

My favourite is the case of a high-end car model being currently marketed in India with the name Laura. Now in Hindi r routinely gets pronounced as d and you can ask any Hindi speaking person what Laura spelt with a d can mean in Hindi, or you can run it through Google Talk to find out. If I say it here, this post will get deleted by moderators for obscenity.

Obviously, the car manufactures who would have spent millions of dollars in product design and marketing, pinched the pennies in getting the brand name checked for offensive meanings in the Indian market, and this just shows that in translation, especially marketing kind of translation, an indepth knowledge of the source culture is absolutely necessary."



Isn't the Hindi market the *target* market/culture in the case you give, Balasubramaniam, rather than the source market/culture/language?

My understanding of your description is that it is the car manufacturers who represent the source culture/language, otherwise they wouldn't have needed to check meanings in Hindi, because they would already know.

In which case, it is again another example of insufficient control of the target language/culture.




Edited to include quote.

[Edited at 2013-08-04 14:37 GMT]


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:46
Hebrew to English
Well said! Aug 4, 2013

Denise Phelps wrote:

Isn't the Hindi market the *target* market/culture in the case you give, Balasubramaniam, rather than the source market/culture/language?

My understanding of your description is that it is the car manufacturers who represent the source culture/language, otherwise they wouldn't have needed to check meanings in Hindi, because they would already know.

In which case, it is again another example of insufficient control of the target language/culture.


He's on a bit of a "source language" crusade at the moment, it's clearly made him a bit blinkered.


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:46
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
This one… Aug 4, 2013

7. Pepsodent promoted its toothpaste in a distinct area in Southeast Asia by highlighting that it “whitens your teeth.” This campaign entirely failed because the locals chew betel nuts to blacken their teeth as it is considered attractive. (Source: Verderber K. and R., Sellnow D. (2012) “Communicate“)


…has nothing to do with translation. It’s a blunder of the marketing team. They obviously miss the old good motto: think globally, act locally!

[Edited at 2013-08-04 11:21 GMT]


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:46
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Illustrates the point perfectly Aug 5, 2013

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:

My favourite is the case of a high-end car model being currently marketed in India with the name Laura. Now in Hindi r routinely gets pronounced as d and you can ask any Hindi speaking person what Laura spelt with a d can mean in Hindi, or you can run it through Google Talk to find out. If I say it here, this post will get deleted by moderators for obscenity.

Obviously, the car manufactures who would have spent millions of dollars in product design and marketing, pinched the pennies in getting the brand name checked for offensive meanings in the Indian market, and this just shows that in translation, especially marketing kind of translation, an indepth knowledge of the source culture is absolutely necessary.


A perfect example of what can happen when you don't use a native speaker of the target.


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Ten marketing slogans – lost in translation

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