Mis-translations


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1. Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose," into Spanish, where it was read
as "Suffer from diarrhea".

2. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into Germany only
to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use
for the "manure stick".

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

4. In Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan "finger-lickin' good"
came out as "eat your fingers off".

5. The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, "Salem -- Feeling Free",
translated into the Japanese market as "When smoking Salem, you will feel
so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty".

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

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

8. 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).

9. In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name
into "Schweppes Toilet Water".

10. Pepsi's "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi
brings your ancestors back from the grave", in Chinese.

11. We all know about GM's Chevy Nova meaning "it won't go" in Spanish
markets, but did you know that Ford had a similar problem in Brazil with
the Pinto? Pinto was Brazilian slang for "tiny male genitals". Ford
renamed the automobile Corcel, meaning "horse".

12. Hunt-Wesson introduced Big John products in French Canada as Gros
Jos. Later they found out that in slang it means "big breasts".

13. 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".

14. 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".
Instead, 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".

15. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Ke-kou-ke-la", 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 "ko-kou-ko-le", translating into "happiness in the mouth".

16. Probably the most famous of all is John Kennedy's announcement to the
people of Berlin, "Ich bin ein Berliner!" JFK thought he said, "I am a
citizen of Berlin!" What he *really* said was, "I am a jelly doughnut!"
("Berliner" is German for "jelly doughnut".)





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