Every brand wants to go global and expand into foreign markets. One of the most vital things is to invest in marketing translation and localize campaigns to fit your organization’s target markets. Slogans are always an effective way to let consumers know about a company. However, even crafting a simple slogan can prove difficult without help from language service providers, especially when dealing internationally. LSPs can help companies understand the local culture, habitats, and languages to create successful marketing campaigns in these countries. Here are some funny examples of advertising translation fails.
Car Manufacturers Need Accurate Advertising Translation
It seems that car companies struggle the most with marketing campaigns. Many prominent manufacturers have made errors when translating their slogans for non-English speaking markets, which can lead to amusing results.
Mitsubishi Motors clearly failed to hire adequate translation services. It did not translate the vehicle name “Pajero” in Spanish, which means “wanker” in Spanish, when Mitsubishi Motors entered the European market.
Mercedes-Benz entered the Chinese market under the brand name “Bensi,” which means “rush to die.” Mercedes-Benz then modified its name to “Benchi”, which means “run quickly”, and has now become one of the most popular brands in China.
When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, the company was unaware that the Spanish expression, “No Va”, meant “It won’t go.”
Food Companies Need Advertising Translation Services
Even food companies have made hilarious mistakes when translating their slogans from English to other languages.
When KFC opened its first restaurant in Beijing, a cannibalistic translation error changed “finger-licking good” to “eat your fingers off.”
Coors launched a campaign in Spain with its slogan, “Turn it loose”. However, the customers didn’t rush out to buy the beer because they were puzzled over the Spanish translation: “suffer from diarrhea.”
American Dairy Association
It is another Spanish translation fail. While the American Dairy Association’s “Got Milk?” campaign was very successful among English speakers in the States, Spanish-speaking people were confused about why the association would translate its slogan to “Are you lactating?”
Other Companies Who Need Advertising Translation
To advertise their leather seats, American Airlines used the slogan “Fly in Leather,” which translated in Spanish for the market in Mexico as “Fly Naked.”
When Parker Pen was advertised in Mexico, it wanted to use its slogan, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you,” which was used in Spain even though it translated to “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”
A foreign market always means more potential to increase your profitability. If you can localize your product effectively, there is no doubt your organization see an increase in profits.
The most efficient way is to hire an agency that provides professional translation and localization services. The translation experts will be helpful in document translation, marketing translation, and even video translation, making sure your marketing slogans will not become a laughing stock!
About Language Connections:
Language Connections is one of the top language service companies in the US. Over the last 30 years, we’ve focused on providing the best business translation, interpreting services, as well as interpreter training and customized language training programs. In addition to top-tier corporate language training, we offer certified corporate interpreters and professional business translation in 200+ languages. Our network includes linguists with backgrounds in all major industries. They’re ready to meet your needs, whether they’re for technical translation, legal translation, government translation, international development translation, education translation, life sciences translation, or something else. Reach out to us today for a free quote on our cost-efficient and timely translation, interpreters, or other linguistic services.
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