Lost In Translation: 50 Words That Don’t Translate
I admit it. If I watch the SuperBowl at all, it’s for the funny commercials. But sometimes the advertisers turn out serious ad campaigns that go so completely wrong, laughter is the only payoff. Translation fails produce some gross, funny, and sometimes shocking results.
Here’s some classics stumbles when English just didn’t make the translation to the foreign audience.
English “got milk? became “Are You Lactating?” in Mexico.
English “Come alive with Pepsi!” became “Pepsi bring your ancestors back from the dead!” in Chinese.
English “The Jolly Green Giant” became “Intimidating Green Monster” in Arabic
English “Schweppes Tonic Water” became “Schweppes Toilet Water” in Italian
And we don’t want to leave out fruits and nuts . . .
Actually, I prefer my bananas with the bone in.
And some English words have no foreign equivalent. Spam, pimp, and facepalm, for example, have simply been imported into other languages because there’s no similar term. Which gets one to wondering, how many foreign words are there that don’t translate into English well? Surely, there are hundreds.
All very good reasons to brush up on the native tongue of those summer destinations you have in mind. A slap in the face could be the least of your worries!
We’ve come up with 50 odd, strange, unusual, and sometimes humorous ones for your afternoon tretar break .