Although the following examples are funny, we are sure you don't want to end up
with one of them in your company's literature!
Disclaimer: To the best of our knowledge and believe, these translation examples
are true and they contain material that some people might find inappropriate or
even offensive..... an even better reason to have your documents translated by a
highly qualified and experienced translator!!!
** When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in
Mexico, its ads were supposed to say "It won't leak in your pocket and
embarrass you". However, the company's mistakenly thought the Spanish word "embarazar"
meant embarrass. Instead the ads said that "It won't leak in your pocket and
make you pregnant". **
** An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market
which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of the desired "I Saw the Pope"
in Spanish, the shirts proclaimed "I Saw the Potato". **
** When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was
apparently unaware that "no va" means "it won't go". After the
company figured out why it wasn't selling any cars, it renamed the car in its
Spanish markets to the Caribe. **
** Chicken-man Frank Perdue's slogan, "It takes a tough man to make a tender
chicken", got terribly mangled in another Spanish translation. A photo of
Perdue with one of his birds appeared on billboards all over Mexico with a
caption that explained "It takes a hard man to make a chicken aroused".
** In an Acapulco hotel a sign read "The manager has personally passed all
the water served here". **
** The Mitsubishi four wheel drive marketed in Australia as the "Pajero" was the
cause of great embarrassment in Spain where "Pajero" means "Masturbater".
Sometimes companies get in trouble even when they don't attempt
** Traficante is an Italian brand of mineral
water that found a great reception in Spain's underworld. In Spanish, it means
“Drug dealer”. **
** 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 Spanish! **
** Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose" into Spanish, where it was read
as "Suffer from diarrhoea". **
** Mazda's Laputa seems like an odd name for a minivan. Spanish speakers
immediately think of "Puta", the word for prostitute. With that in
mind the ads claiming that "Laputa is designed to deliver maximum utility in a
minimum space while providing a smooth, comfortable ride" and "a lightweight,
impact-absorbing body" are humorous. Distributors in Santiago de Chile asked
Mazda to rename the vehicle. **
** 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 you lactating?" **
** Nissan's minivan Moco doesn't do so well in Spanish-speaking markets.
Distributors in Santiago de Chile asked that the vehicle be renamed since Moco
is the Spanish word for “Mucous”. **
** Two signs from a Majorcan shop entrance – “English well talking” & “Here
speeching American”. **
Do you need a Quote, just click here.
"A good translation is one
that carries all the ideas of the original as well as its structural and
cultural features". We can offer you exactly this!