Companies always want to market their products to the biggest population available. Large companies are able to market their products to many different countries. However, this means that they have to find translations of their names or at least their slogans in order to market the products. Sometimes this doesn’t go so well. Here are five of the funniest translation mistakes made in ads.
KFC uses the slogan “Finger lickin’ good.” In 1987, they opened a restaurant in Beijing, China. This meant they had to find a translation of “Finger lickin’ good.” They thought that had succeeded only find out that their slogan translated to, “We’ll eat your fingers off.” That doesn’t sound very pleasant, and it definitely isn’t what is wanted for a chicken restaurant.
Coors Beer uses the slogan “Turn it loose.” They wanted to market the product in Spain. They thought that there would be no problems translating “Turn it loose” to Spanish. However, the translated slogan ended up being, “Suffer from diarrhea.” It seems that some people think drinking Coors Beer will cause this to happen.
In 2006, Clairol started selling a product called the “Mist Stick.” The Mist Stick was a curling iron. The company wanted to sell the product in Germany. However, they did not try to translated “Mist” to the proper German word and ended up trying to sell the “Manure Stick.” Not surprisingly, the product didn’t sell. Most Germans didn’t want to put manure in their hair. The correct translation was “Nebel Stick.”
Parker Pens uses the slogan, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” The company made the mistake of using the wrong Spanish word and Mexicans read the slogan, “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.” It has never been determined that a pen can make somebody pregnant, unless science has found a way to conceal sperm inside of the ink barrels of pens.
Most people know how Coca-Cola tried to find a phonetic name in China to sound like Coca-Cola and how “Ke-kou-ke-la” translated to “bite the wax tadpole.” However, another dialect of Chinese translated this as “female horse stuffed with wax.” They finally found “ko-kou-ko-le.” This translates to “happiness in the mouth.”
10 Funniest Badly-Translated Ads – Oddee.com (mistranslations, engrish). (n.d.). A Blog on Oddities: the odd, bizarre and strange things of our world! | Oddee.com . Retrieved May 30, 2011, from http://www.oddee.com/item_97