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10 terrible examples of slogan translation


  1. Brazillians weren’t too keen on the Ford Pinto, because the word ‘pinto’ is slang for tiny male genitals in Brazil.

  2. The Chevrolet Nova wasn’t too hot in Latin America, because ‘nova’ literally means “It doesn’t go” in Spanish. Whoops!

  3. Kia’s Borrego targeted at a Hispanic audience. Unfortunately for them it translated to ‘lamb’. In Asia, Nissan unveiled their ‘Moco’ - booger. But the winner is Mazda’s Laputa - la puta translates in Spanish to ‘the whore’!

  4. One of Pepsi’s slogans used to be ‘Come alive with the Pepsi generation’. Unfortunately, this translated to “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” in Chinese.

  5. Ikea has also had a number of legendary translation errors including their Jättebra pot plants. Unfortunately, in Thailand, that name is similar to the slang word for ‘sex’. Also in Thailand, Ikea found that their Redalen bed, in fact, resembles the word for “getting to third base.” Whoops!

6.KFC’s internationally well-known slogan “Finger-lickin’ good” unfortunately translates to “eat your fingers off” in Chinese. Yeah, that didn’t go down well.

  1. Coca-Cola’s brand was originally read as ‘Kekoukela’ in China. That translates to “Bite the wax tadpole” or “Female horse stuffed with wax.” Of course, Coke quickly attempted to fix this issue, as their brand has nothing to do with biting tadpoles or horses. Or wax. They finally found a valid phonetic replacement, which translated to “Happiness in the Mouth”. I’m not sure whether that’s such a great replacement, either, Coke.

  2. Scandinavian vacuum producer Electrolux attempted to launch a campaign in America with which they adopted the slogan “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.”

  3. Parker pen tried to market a product in Mexico with the slogan “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” Unfortunately, they got the words for embarrass and impregnate confused.

10.Saving one of the best for last, the Dairy Association in America had a fantastic campaign based around the slogan “Got milk?” and wanted to expand it to Mexico. Unfortunately, the translation ended up asking “Are you lactating?” rather than “Got milk?” 



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