Lost in Translation

Some jokes showed up in my email box today. While I don’t normally reward Spam, some of these were pretty good.

> The American Dairy Association was so successful with its “Got Milk?”
> campaign, that it was decided to extend the ads to Mexico.
> Unfortunately, the Spanish translation was “Are you lactating?”

> Electrolux, a Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer, used this ad in the
> U.S.: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.”

> Colgate introduced a toothpaste called “Cue” in France, but it
> turned out to be the same name as a well-known porno magazine.

> When Braniff translated a slogan touting its upholstery, “Fly in
> leather,” it came out in Spanish as “Fly naked.”

> Coors put its slogan, “Turn it loose,” into Spanish, where it was
> read as “Suffer from diarrhea.”

> Chicken magnate Frank Perdue’s line, “It takes a tough man to make
> a tender chicken,” sounds much more interesting in Spanish: “It
> takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate.”

> Bacardi concocted a fruity drink with the name “Pavian” to suggest
> French chic…but “pavian” means “baboon” in German.

> A hair products company, 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.

> When Kentucky Fried Chicken entered the Chinese market, to their
> horror they discovered that their slogan “finger lickin’ good” came
> out as “eat your fingers off”

> When Vicks first introduce its cough drops on the German market,
> they were chagrined to learn that the German pronunciation of “v”
> is f – which in German is the guttural equivalent of
> “sexualpenetration.”

> Parker Pens translated the slogan for its ink, “Avoid
> Embarrassment – Use Quink” into Spanish as “Evite Embarazos – Use
> Quink”…which also means, “Avoid Pregnancy – Use Quink.”

> When Pepsi started marketing its products in China a few years
> back, they translated their slogan, “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life”
> pretty literally. The slogan in Chinese really meant, “Pepsi Brings
> Your Ancestors Back from the Grave.”

> In Italy, a campaign for “Schweppes Tonic Water” translated the
> name into the much less thirst quenching “Schweppes Toilet Water.”

> Chinese translation proved difficult for Coke, which took two tries
> to get it right. They first tried Ke-kou-ke-la because when
> pronounced it sounded roughly like Coca-Cola. It wasn’t until after
> thousands of signs had been printed that they discovered that the
> phrase means “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with
> wax,” depending on the dialect. Second time around things worked
> out much better. After researching 40,000 Chinese characters, Coke
> came up with “ko-kou-ko-le” which translates roughly to the much
> more appropriate “happiness in the mouth.”

> Not to be outdone, Puffs tissues tried later to introduce its
> product, only to learn that “Puff” in German is a colloquial term
> for a whorehouse. The English weren’t too fond of the name either,
> as it’s a highly derogatory term for a non-heterosexual.

> The Chevy Nova never sold well in Spanish speaking countries. “No
> va” means “it doesn’t go” in Spanish.

> Ford introduced the Pinto in Brazil. After watching sales go
> nowhere, the company learned that “Pinto” is Brazilian slang for
> “tiny malegenitals.” Ford pried the nameplates off all of the cars
> and substituted them with “Corcel” which means horse.

> When Gerber first started selling baby food in Africa, they used
> the same packaging as here in the USA – with the cute baby on the
> label. Later they found out that in Africa companies routinely put
> pictures on the label of what’s inside since most people can’t
> read.

> In the French part of Canada, Hunt-Wesson introduced its “Big John”
> products as “Gros Jos.” It later found out that the phrase is slang
> for “bigbreasts.”