Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 03:38:15 -0500 From: Jim Crotty Subject: VERNACULAR MISHAPS Some decent yuks.... Any other examples let me know..... Jim Crotty, How to Talk American 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", >>> was 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 the 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 English. >>> >>> 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. In Central American Spanish, the name of the Mexican restaurant >>> chain "Chi-Chi's" literally means "titties." >>> >>> 17. 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".) >>> >>> 18. The Trump Shuttle (Donald Trump's airline) caused a lot of guffaws >>> to traveling Brits where "Trump" is another way of saying "fart"!