Keywording in Other Languages

Posted on 6/14/2000 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

317

KEYWORDING IN OTHER LANGUAGES


June 14, 2000

If you think it will be a snap to keyword your images so people using other

languages can find them -- think again. To get some idea about how hard it

is to translate keywords into multiple languages consider some of the fiascos

major corporations have had in trying to market their products in other

countries.

The Nova Awards in Marketing are given in honor of GM's fiasco in trying to

market the Chevy Nova in Central and South America.

"No va" means, of course, in Spanish, "it doesn't go".

Some of the nominees for the Chevy Nova Award are:

  • The Dairy Association's huge success with the campaign

    "Got Milk?" prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon

    brought to their attention the Spanish translation read "Are you lactating?"

  • Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish,

    where it was read as "Suffer From Diarrhea."

  • Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the

    following in an American campaign: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux."

  • Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick," a curling iron,

    into Germany only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too

    many people had use for the "Manure Stick."

  • When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they

    used the same packaging as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label.

    Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the

    labels of what's inside, since many people can't read.

  • Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue,

    the name of a notorious porno magazine.

  • An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for

    the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I saw the

    Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read "I Saw the Potato" (la papa).

  • Pepsi's "Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi

    Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave" in Chinese.

  • The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as

    "Kekoukela", meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with

    wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to

    find a phonetic equivalent "kokou kole", translating into "happiness in the

    mouth."

  • Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "It takes a strong man to

    make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as "it takes an aroused

    man to make a chicken affectionate."

  • When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its

    ads were supposed to have read, "It won't leak in your pocket and

    embarrass you. "The company thought that the word "embarazar" (to

    impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: "It won't leak in your

    pocket and make you pregnant!"

    12. When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class

    seats in the Mexican market, it translated its "Fly In

    Leather" campaign literally, which meant "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero) in

    Spanish.


  • Copyright © 2000 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

    Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

    Comments

    Be the first to comment below.

    Post Comment

    You must log in to post comments.

    Stay Connected

    Sign up to receive our FREE weekly email listing new stories posted.

    Follow Us

    Free Stuff

    Recent Stories – Summer 2016
    If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
    Read More
    Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
    This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
    Read More
    Finding The Right Image
    Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
    Read More
    Where Is The Stock Photo Industry Headed?
    For new readers, or those who may have missed some of what I have written over the last few months, the following are a list of stories worth looking at to get a sense of where the industry is headed.
    Read More
    Photography As A Career
    It’s that time of year when high school seniors are waiting for college acceptance letters and thinking about future careers. If you know someone who is thinking about photography as a career you mig...
    Read More
    2014 Stories You May Have Missed
    For many the end of the year is a time to review past experiences and consider whether it makes sense to chart a new course in the year ahead. Stock photography has changed dramatically for professio...
    Read More
    More Stories In 2014 You May Have Missed
    Every so often I put together a list of the most important stories we’ve published in the recent past. If you are engaged in the business of stock photography the links below are to stories that we’v...
    Read More
    Getty: A Three Month Review
    In all the excitement about 35 million FREE images it is worth looking back at some of things that have been happening at Getty Images in the last three months. After watching revenue decline for the...
    Read More
    State Of Stock Photo Industry: 2013
    If you’re looking for an overview of the state of the stock photo industry as of October 2013 the stories listed below are a good place to start. Regular readers of Selling-Stock will have seen all t...
    Read More
    Education Market Shifts To Digital
    If supplying pictures for educational use is a significant part of your business plan you need to be aware of how the market is trending toward digital delivery and how that is likely to affect the p...
    Read More

    More from Free Stuff