Interesting about the activities of translators

In any field of human activity, you can find many entertaining and curious cases that can both amuse and warn against some mistakes. The same applies to the activities of translators and

We all saw a cartoon in childhood or read Kipling’s book “The Jungle Book” and every child remembers how graceful and beautiful the panther Bagheera was. In fact, according to the original book, Bagheera is HE! It’s just that the translators into Russian have replaced the gender of the character, since the word “panther” in Russian is feminine. The same was done with the “Cat that walks by itself.” This character was originally male.

Khrushchev at the UN Assembly in anger shouted “I’ll show you Kuzkin’s mother!” and knocked on the podium with his boot. The translators did not find anything better how to translate it literally – “Kuzma’smother”, which made the phrase completely incomprehensible to the assembly participants, but scared them terribly. Subsequently, the term “Kuzma’smother” began to denote the atomic bombs of the USSR.

Although even large companies are not immune from translation errors, it is safer to trust the translation of documents and other important information to a professional translation agency.

Particular attention should be paid to translation related to any advertising campaigns, because in this area, the correct transfer of the meaning contained in the names and slogans of the goods provided is of enormous importance.

For Finland, the name of Lada Kalina was specially changed, because in Finnish “Kalina” means crackling, knocking, rattling and rumbling.

Japanese schoolchildren and applicants believe that Kit Kat chocolates bring good luck, help with difficult matters and exams. And all from the fact that the name of this chocolate is consonant with the Japanese expression “kitsukatsu”, which means “certainly to win.”

Pepsi’s advertising campaign, due to the peculiarities of the Chinese language, had mixed success. The Pepsi slogan, which sounds like “Live with the Pepsi generation”, when translated into Chinese acquired the following meaning “Pepsi will make your ancestors rise from the graves.” Given the strongest ancestor cult in this country, the Chinese were, to put it mildly, in shock.

Gerber, selling its products in African markets, has placed a picture of a small smiling child on cans of baby food. It wasn’t until some time later that Gerber marketers realized why their products were not successful. It turns out that most of the African population is illiterate and so that the buyer can navigate among the goods, local manufacturers always depict its contents on the packaging. It is clear that a jar of baby food with a baby on it terrified Africans.

The Coca-Cola company also had difficulties in translation during the advertising campaign that took place in China. It turns out that in Chinese “Coca-Cola” means “Bite the wax tadpole.” For this reason, the Coca-Cola company and its products in China have the name “Koku Kole”, which means “Happiness in the mouth” from the Chinese language.

The Coors company, which manufactures beer products, used the expression “Turn It Loose” during a promotion in the United States of America, which means “Become Free”. But, in Latin America

Team of business people working together on a laptop

, when thoroughly translated into Spanish, this expression means “Suffer from diarrhea.”

The car company General Motors suffered a flop during an advertisement for its new Chevrolet Nova in Latin America. It turns out that the name of the car “Nova” in Spanish means “Not able to move.”

A tricky story happened with the famous American Airlines, which installed new leather seats in the aircraft cabins, and informed Mexican passengers using the expression “Fly in Leather”, which means “Fly in the leather” in English. But, if translated into Spanish, this expression sounds like “Fly naked.”

Thus, it can definitely be argued that slogans are a very special kind of text for translation and adaptation. Even a very experienced translator will have to put a lot of effort into translating them. The more original the translated slogan sounds, the more chances it will be remembered by consumers, and this is the purpose of all advertising activities.