I’m always amused by mistranslations, and someone on slashdot reminded me of this:
The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax” depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, “ko-kou-ko-le,” which can be loosely translated as “happiness in the mouth.”
This site has some other amusing examples, including:
The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, “Salem – Feeling Free,” got translated in the Japanese market into “When smoking Salem, you feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty.”
Amusing. Much debate has already begun on the subject of the Nintendo Revolution being renamed the Wii, most of it pretty negative. I think it will catch on, especially once people accept that they mean “We” rather than “Wee”. Also, it affords them plenty of opportunity to show off the crux of the thing: those awesome controllers.
One thing is slightly annoying however: “Owners will have the option of equipping a small, self-contained attachment to play movies and other DVD content.” (Gamasutra). What a terrible backward step. Never mind though, it’s not like I (or anyone else) will not have the facility to play DVD’s on other stuff that’s likely to be kept next to the Wii, it just seems like DVD playback should’ve been a built-in feature.
Tags: computer games, humour, language, Nintendo, Wii