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Business slogans translated into other languages
Here's a look at how shrewd American business people translate their
slogans into foreign languages:
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."
When Vicks first introduce its cough drops on the germanmarket,
they were chagrined to learn that the german pronunciation of "v" is
f - which in german is the gutteral equivalent of "sexual penetration."
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. "Nova"
means "it doesn't go" in Spanish.
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."
When Coca-Cola first shipped to China, they named the product
something that when pronounced sounded like "Coca-Cola." The only
problem was that the characters used meant "Bite the wax tadpole."
They later changed to a set of characters that mean "Happiness in the
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 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.