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Hilarious Marketing Translation Blunders!

Here are 15, but dozens of others exist:

Marketing people often make serious translation errors when translating advertising from English into other languages.  For example, "Come Alive! Join the Pepsi Generation" translated into Chinese as "It will bring your ancestors back to life."

Follow the link and laugh!  :-D

Jan 11, 2015 10:54 AM
Comments · 16

Ziyana, 'finger lickin' good' is the classic slogan for Kentucky Fried Chicken. It means that the chicken is so tasty that you want to lick your fingers after you have eaten it.

Compound adjectives of this type are common in English. Some simpler examples are 'freezing cold' and 'boiling hot', or in other words, it's so cold that everything freezes.

How cold is the weather? It's freezing cold.

How good is the chicken? 'It's finger lickin(g) good'

The slogan is also appealing and memorable because the word 'lickin' ( a colloquial country-style Southern states pronunciation) also rhymes with 'chicken'.  The translation is less appealing!



January 11, 2015

You're right about the hyphen, Oussama. If this were in a standard Engish sentence, 'finger-lickin(g)' would need to be hyphenated to show that it is a compound adverb. But as Eddie says, this is how the the phrase has always been. It's also worth bearing in mind that advertising slogans often have non-standard grammar and punctuation. It's an area of language where the usual rules don't always apply.

January 11, 2015

Oussama ~

I think you're asking about the use of the hyphen. To me, the use of the hyphen is often a "judgement call."  It is not, as we say, "Cast in concrete."  I'd like Su.Ki.'s comment on this.

January 11, 2015

ziyana ~

"finger lickin' good" is an idiomatic expression that means, "The flavor is so good that after you eat, you will lick your fingers to get any remaining flavor."  This would be poor table manners, but you would do it anyway because the taste of the chicken is delicious.

In reality, the chicken is coated with monosodium glutemate (MSG), a chemical that would even make dirt taste good.  :-)

January 11, 2015

Here are a couple I've seen, as I remember:


A notice in the toilets of a Korean restaurant, warning patrons that toilet paper may block the plumbing: "Do not throw paper in toilet! Be choked. ^__^"  (Yes, with a happy face and all.)


In the Ethnography Museum in Ankara, Turkey, is a display showing a traditional outdoor lantern, explaining that the lantern cover allows the lantern to be used "in outer space".


Then there's this lovely error...

January 11, 2015
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English, Japanese, Spanish
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