“Translation” – Not Always the Same Thing
Last updated: September 14th, 2012 by admin
Writing things over to another language can be a funny old game sometimes, for the simple reason that culture often intervenes. If there’s a better reason than the following for using a competent German NAATI translator – as opposed to downloading Google Translate – then we’ve yet to come across it.
First attempts to translate Coca-Cola into Chinese became essential after market researchers discovered that the locals interpreted the name as “bite the wax tadpole”. After much prodigious effort translators chose the word ’kokoukole” meaning “happiness in the mouth” instead.
The General Motors name “Nova” means “it doesn’t go” in Spanish-speaking South America. Hopefully the glue they stuck the badges on with wasn’t made in Germany?
Colorado brewers Coors should have been more careful with their Spanish translations too. Their slogan “turn it loose” became “suffer from diarrhoea”.
KFC walked right into it after their media specialist managed to morph their brand into the Chinese equivalent of “eat your fingers off”.
On a lighter note, Frank Perdue’s translators were probably feeling chicken after someone mentioned that they’d translated “it takes a strong man to make a tender chicken” into Spanish as “it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate“.
Please don’t think for a moment that anything similar is possible in the case of our skilled Migration Translators. They’re all highly-educated human beings, and everything is edited twice.