The Little Book of Transcreation – excerpt #10

1 Comment » Written on December 21st, 2011 by
Categories: Germany, Russia
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It’s important to research your product name in the market you want to break into. Even if a certain word doesn’t “look” offensive, sometimes the way it is pronounced can give it a whole new meaning.

When Vicks first introduced its cough drops to the German market, they were embarrassed to learn that the Germans pronounce “v” as “f” – and “ficken” is a crude term for “have sex” in German.

In the 90s, a mineral water called “Blue Water” was launched in Russia. But when Russians said the English name aloud, it sounded very like “блевота” (pronounced “blevOta”) – slang for “vomit”.

So they changed the name to “Water Blue” – a simple solution, but one that sounds much more appealing.

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One Response to “The Little Book of Transcreation – excerpt #10”

It happens the same in Spanish.
For example:
‘I want to take your sister at my place’
The verb “take” can be translated as “coger” by Spaniards, but that same verb is used by Mexicans to describe the act of have sex, so if a Spaniard translates this phrase for the Mexican market the result is totally wrong.

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