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OOPS! All too often translations are not done by veteran subject-qualified translators who already have a deep understanding of the field they are translating into, but rather are turned over to the lowest bidder. This type of shortsightedness results in translation errors like the following.
When Coca-Cola first began shipping to China, the product was named in a way that when pronounced sounded like "Coca-Cola." The only problem was that the characters used meant "Bite the wax tadpole." The name was later changed to a set of characters meaning "Happiness in the mouth."
When Vicks first introduced its cough drops on the German market, they soon found out that the German pronunciation of "v" is "f"--which made their product sound like the German non-clinical slang term for sexual intercourse.
The Chevy Nova bombed in Spanish-speaking countries where "No va" means "it doesn’t go."
Puffs tissues introduced its product only to learn that "puff" in German is a colloquial term for a house of prostitution. And in England "puff" is a homophobic term for a gay person.
The Nissan Moco went on sale on April 10, 2002. If you wanted to sell this car in Latin America, you probably encountered some resistance since "Moco" means "snot"
The Mazda Laputa was was introduced in 1999. The term "Laputa" is very offensive in Spanish, because it means "the whore."
Using Access Translation Services can help you avoid disasters such as...
...when Electrolux marketed their vacuum cleaner in the UK using the slogan "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux," which, of course, was not successful when brought to the States.
...when Clairol presented a new curling iron named the "Mist Stick" in Germany, not realizing that "mist" is German slang for "manure" or "excrement."
...when Parker introduced their pens in the Latin American market with the slogan "It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you" using the word "embarazar" which in Spanish means "to impregnante," so it was interpreted to read "It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."
Keep cost in mind when choosing a translation agency, and also make sure they have the appropriate skills to do the job. Avoid risks--entrust your documentation to Access Translation Services.
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