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Date: Tue, 8 Aug 1995 08:10:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: BLAGUES-L: How do you say...?

(From "American Demographics" magazine)

Here's a look at how shrewd American business people have translated
their slogans and product names into foreign languages:

When Braniff translated a slogan touting its upholstery, "Fly in
leather," it came out in Spanish as "Fly naked."

(Editor's Note: I'm surprised that this didn't boost sales enough
for Braniff to stay solvent. )

Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose," into Spanish, where it was
read as "Suffer from diarrhea."

Chicken magnate Frank Perdue's line, "It takes a tough man to make a
tender chicken," sounds much more interesting in Spanish: "It takes
a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate."

When Vicks first introduced its cough drops on the German market,
they were chagrined to learn that the German pronunciation of "v" is
"f" -- which, in German, is the guttural equivalent of "sexual

Not to be outdone, Puffs tissues tried to introduce its product,
only to learn that "Puff" in German is a colloquial term for a
whorehouse. The English weren't too fond of this name, either, as
it is a highly derogatory term for a homosexual.

The Chevy Nova never sold well in Spanish speaking countries. "No
va" means "it doesn't go" in Spanish.

When Pepsi started marketing its products in China a few years back,
they translated their slogan, "Pepsi Brings You Back to Life," pretty
literally. The slogan in Chinese really meant, "Pepsi Brings Your
Ancestors Back From the Grave."

When Coca-Cola first shipped to China, they named the product
something that, when pronounced, sounded like "Coca-Cola." The only
problem was that the characters used meant "Bite the wax tadpole."
They later changed to a set of characters that meant "Happiness in
the mouth."

Clairol, the hair products company, introduced the curling iron
"Mist Stick," into Germany only to find out that mist is slang for
manure. Not too many people had use for the manure stick.

When Gerber first started selling baby food in Africa, it used the
same packaging as here in the USA--with the cute baby on the label.
Later, the company found out that, in Africa, companies routinely put
pictures on the label of what's inside, since many people can't read.

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