A few days ago, the UK’s Mirror provided an overview of what it dubbed “The world’s worst English blunders“. Among its highlights were:
- An airport in China made this special request of drivers: “Please confirm your car is licked.” Surely a car wash would suffice?
- Meanwhile there was this eye-catching warning on a busy stretch of road in India: “Go slow – accident porn area.” Bet there were a few rubberneckers for that one…
- A shop selling Bavarian beer mugs in Munich, Germany, boasts “We sell beer stains”. We doubt they make much of a profit.
- One French sports shoe shop in Aix-en-Provence might need to rethink its name – Athlete’s Foot.
- We may talk the same language but that hasn’t stopped one US clothes store coming up with this gem: “Wonderful bargains for men with 16 and 17 necks.”
- And this Kentucky store has another pearler: “Don’t kill your
wife. Let our washing machines do the dirty work.”
- A Chinese bookshop must be trying to cash in on Middle Earth in a section for “Sports and hobbits”.
- A jar of black raspberry jam in America: “Tastes Like Grandma.” We all love our grandmas but no one wants to eat her.
In the U.S., these and a lot of other gems are currently only available in the Kindle Edition of Charlie Croker’s book “Utterly Lost in Translation – Even More Misadventures in English Abroad”. The hardcover version will be released October 1, 2015 in the United States.
As you can see, it would have helped in most cases to have both a professional translator as well as an equally skilled proofreader and/or editor involved, not to mention some cultural sensitivity and research before deciding on a brand name.
For help in handling your translation needs, including proper proofreading, editing, and in-depth research of cultural implications of your branding and naming, give us a call at +1-312-217-2568 or use the free quote form in the sidebar to the left, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or provide more detailed information on our contact form. You can also fax your documents to us at +1-312-803-2208.