Translations gone horribly wrong

We all know how this goes. Someone comes up with a great idea and gives it a name. Then it becomes popular. Then it's transmitted all over the world. Of course the original creator had no idea how far this would go. Nor could he or she ever imagine what its name could mean in other languages.

Today I realized that SPEC files can loosely be translated into 'bacon files' in Dutch.

If you want to know more, check out this Wikipedia article (in Dutch, so if you don't know enough about bacon, you'll have to scroll down and find the links for other languages).

3 flames:

Joe zei

Chevrolet had a popular car in the US a generation ago that was called the Nova. It didn't sell well in Latin America, maybe because "no va" means "It doesn't go" in Spanish.

These days, big corporations usually check for embarrassing language issues before they choose names, at least in languages where they have customers.

jcollie zei

@Joe: Please check your facts before repeating urban legends:

http://www.snopes.com/business/misxlate/nova.asp

pmacedo zei

Could be worse. For example, Ford had a car model called 'Pinto', which in portuguese has the same meanings as the other word used in english for a Rooster. At least they didn't launch that model in portuguese-speaking countries (AFAIK; it was from before my time).

Or worse examples... Orkut in Finnish is the plural for a slang for orgasm. An the chinese car company Chana probably should had rechecked the meaning of their brand in pt_BR (which it seems they didn't) before launching their products in Brazil, since the pronunciation of their name sounds like a slang for vagina.