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• The Dairy Association's huge success with the campaign "Got Milk?" prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention the Spanish translation read, "Are you lactating?"


• Coors' slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish translated as "Suffer From Diarrhea." 
A quick consultation with an English to Spanish professional translation provider could have saved them a lot of embarrassment.

 • A perfect example of how a literal translation can lead to awkward and possibly offensive expressions.

• Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux." 

  • While "Pace" is Italian for "Peace" the mixed languages make for a nonsensical garment.

• An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market, which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I Saw the Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read, "I Saw the Potato" (la papa).

   • Departamenture...

• Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.


• When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the U.S., with the smiling baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the labels of what's inside, since many people can't read.

  • Another example of poor translation causing an awkward and possibly offensive expression.
   • Is this a poor translation, or a new skin replacement therapy?

• Pepsi's "Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave" in Chinese.


• The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Kekoukela", meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "kokou kole", translating into "happiness in the mouth."


• Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as "it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."


• When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated the "Fly In Leather" campaign literally, meaning "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero) in Spanish!

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