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spacer humor > > > Translation Disasters

Subject:  Fwd:  Translations

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The nominees for the Chevy Nova Award, named in Honor of the GM's
fiasco in trying to market this car in Central and South America "no
va" means, of course, in Spanish, "it doesn't go"

1. The Dairy Association's huge success with the campaign "Got
Milk?" prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon
brought to their attention the Spanish translation read "Are

2. Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish, where it was
read as "Suffer From Diarrhea".

3. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in
an American campaign, "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux".

4. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick," a curling iron, into Germany
only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure.

5. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the
same packaging as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label.
Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures
on the labels of what's inside, since many people can't read.

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

7. 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).

8. Pepsi's "Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation" translated into
"Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave" in Chinese.

9. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Kekoukela", 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 "kokou kole", translating into "happiness in

10. 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".

11. 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". 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!"

12. When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first
class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its "Fly In
Leather" campaign literally, which meant "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero)in

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