|Re: apocryphal marketing translations|
Message #6 Posted by glynn on 16 May 2003, 7:47 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Ellis Easley
The "No Va" is at least based on some resemblance to the language-- so we'll give that a thumbs up.
Of course, in English, we have partisans who will tell you what F.O.R.D. is supposed to mean, so take at least a little of the supposed marketing errors with a salt-rimmed margarita. More incomprehensible might be why Toyota would have marketed a "Cressida" in English-speaking countries, naming the car after the main female character in a Shakespeare play, the archetypal unfaithful lover.
"Enco" was the word that the Japanese were said to have had trouble with. I do not know the situation to be fact, though; babelfish doesn't help here, but maybe babelfish won't repeat smut.
The story *I* heard about a soft-drink parallels yours, except in the details. I was told (by a marketing guy) that when Pepsi first marketed their product in China, their slogan was then "Pepsi... Lifts your Spirit"-- which was duly literalized into chinese pictograms, without regard to the meaning imparted. The Chinese were supposedly bemused and disturbed at the exhortation that "Pepsi-Cola will bring your Ancestors back from the grave."
Ahhh, those urban legends. How can you track down the truth, when the legends sound so good? ;-)