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10 Food Names, Brands, and Slogans That Mean Something Embarrassing in Other Languages (Slideshow)

10 Food Names, Brands, and Slogans That Mean Something Embarrassing in Other Languages (Slideshow)


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Learning a foreign language can be tough; just ask these companies, who committed some laughable translation errors

Confusing Cola

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Since Mandarin is so different from Western languages, names (for both people and companies) in English are often simply assigned phonetic equivalents. The literal translation doesn’t always gel with the product or person to which it is assigned, but it generally doesn’t create an issue. Coca-Cola, however, had some difficulty when it moved into the Chinese market. Because there was no official Chinese name, shopkeepers (who printed thousands of signs) and consumers began calling it “ke-kou-ke-la,” which can mean either “bite the wax tadpole,” or the even more unfortunate “female horse stuffed with wax.” Clearly neither of these represented Coke (and were both terribly unfortunate and confusing), who eventually made the official name “ko-kou-ko-le,” or, essentially, “happiness in the mouth.”

Click here for 10 famous Coca-Cola myths.

Coors Falls Flat

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When Coors was looking to liven up its marketing campaigns, it introduced the slogan, “Turn it loose.” This expressed the fun feeling the company was looking for in most markets, except for some (but not all) Spanish ones. In a few regions, the translation was read as slang for “Get diarrhea,” which probably didn’t sell a whole lot of six-packs — unless they were packs of toilet paper. The slogan was dropped in the Spanish-speaking markets.

Click here to read about the recent major lawsuit against Coors Light.

Gerber Gets Gross

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Most adults (and probably babies too, if they could talk) would tell you that the color and consistency of baby food isn’t very appealing. Imagine how the French felt when Gerber baby food first appeared, considering “gerber” is a slang term for vomiting. A “gerbe” is also a sheaf or bouquet, but that’s probably not what most folks thought about when they saw the little jars of mush. Undeterred, Gerber stuck with the name in France.

Got Trouble?

No campaign for dairy has been more successful than the American Dairy Association’s “Got Milk?” effort. However, the transition into the Mexican market wasn’t easy initially. After the expansion, it was soon brought to the ADA’s attention that the “Got Milk?” translation was read as “Are you lactating?” by some Mexico residents due to the odd wording. Not too far off, relatively speaking, but it definitely sent the wrong message to some audiences. The ADA eventually settled on “Familia, Amor y Leche” (“Family, Love and Milk”) instead.

Click here for the 25 best restaurants in Mexico.

Irish Mist’s Crappy Translation

Irish Mist is a whiskey that hails from Tullamore and was first introduced in 1947. Now owned by Campari, it can be found in over 40 countries — however, the name takes on a different meaning in one of those: Germany. In German, the word “mist” means “manure,” which is definitely not a name one would like associated with a bottle of brown liquid. However, Irish Mist made no changes in this market. In related lore, Rolls Royce narrowly avoided a similar mistake when it almost named the Silver Shadow car model the “Silver Mist.”

Click here for the 30 best pubs outside of Ireland (and America).

KFC Chicken Fingers

Kentucky Fried Chicken joints are now on practically every corner in major Chinese cities, but the company’s debut wasn’t without its speedbumps. When KFC translated its famous slogan “Finger licking good” into Mandarin, it ended up being “Eat your fingers off,” which was marketed thoroughly before the blunder was pointed out. Considering the country now has over 4,500 KFC locations, the company was clearly able to overcome this error.

Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Not So Jolly

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The translation for Green Giant vegetables’ mascot, the Jolly Green Giant, didn’t quite work in the Arabic market when it appeared on some products. The character’s name directly translated to “Intimidating Green Ogre,” which probably isn’t the best the best way to appeal to customers — especially when the mascot’s friendliness is touted to the rest of the world. The company, however, has stuck with the name.

Who recently bought Green Giant? Find out in this article.

Pepsi’s Resurrection

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In an attempt to put a positive spin on the heaps of sugar packed into soda, Pepsi came up with the slogan “Pepsi brings you back to life.” Unfortunately, when translated into Mandarin, the slogan became “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.” This obviously seems like a humorous predicament to most, but in China, many people were quite offended. After all, this is a country where family is immensely important, and they even have a holiday (Qingming Festival) dedicated to sweeping off the graves of departed ancestors. The tagline was dropped.

Click here for details about Pepsi’s mysterious new craft soda.

Pizza Hut Keeps Abreast of Its Translations

Sharwood’s Bum Name

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Back in the early 2000’s, Sharwood’s, a British food company that specializes in Asian cuisine, released a sauce based on a traditional northern Indian method of cooking, and promised it would “change the way consumers make curry.” Unfortunately, the name selected for the product altered the meaning of this slogan entirely. Sharwood’s new “Bundh” sauces, when translated into Punjabi, resulted in “butt sauces.” Not exactly the new method of cooking Sharwood’s was looking to promote — but to the company’s credit, it stuck with the name and used the gaffe as an opportunity to challenge consumers to try the product and evaluate its quality themselves.

Check out this recipe for sweet potato and lentil curry rice made with Sharwood’s Curry Paste.


50 Times People Felt The Need To “Humble Brag” Online And Got Shamed For It

Rokas Laurinavičius and
Ilona Baliūnaitė

Humblebragging &mdash bragging masked by a complaint or humility &mdash really infuriates people. Mainly because the disguise isn't fooling us.

A 2018 study from researchers at Harvard and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that it is even worse than regular, straight-up self-promotion. The latter at least comes off as genuine!

However, some folks just can't help it. They let their insecurities get the best of them and put their false modesty on full display, ready to savor all the attention and recognition it might earn.

When that happens, they end up on a subreddit called r/HumbleBrag. The online community for shaming this pitiful self-presentation. Continue scrolling and check out some of its top posts.


50 Times People Felt The Need To “Humble Brag” Online And Got Shamed For It

Rokas Laurinavičius and
Ilona Baliūnaitė

Humblebragging &mdash bragging masked by a complaint or humility &mdash really infuriates people. Mainly because the disguise isn't fooling us.

A 2018 study from researchers at Harvard and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that it is even worse than regular, straight-up self-promotion. The latter at least comes off as genuine!

However, some folks just can't help it. They let their insecurities get the best of them and put their false modesty on full display, ready to savor all the attention and recognition it might earn.

When that happens, they end up on a subreddit called r/HumbleBrag. The online community for shaming this pitiful self-presentation. Continue scrolling and check out some of its top posts.


50 Times People Felt The Need To “Humble Brag” Online And Got Shamed For It

Rokas Laurinavičius and
Ilona Baliūnaitė

Humblebragging &mdash bragging masked by a complaint or humility &mdash really infuriates people. Mainly because the disguise isn't fooling us.

A 2018 study from researchers at Harvard and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that it is even worse than regular, straight-up self-promotion. The latter at least comes off as genuine!

However, some folks just can't help it. They let their insecurities get the best of them and put their false modesty on full display, ready to savor all the attention and recognition it might earn.

When that happens, they end up on a subreddit called r/HumbleBrag. The online community for shaming this pitiful self-presentation. Continue scrolling and check out some of its top posts.


50 Times People Felt The Need To “Humble Brag” Online And Got Shamed For It

Rokas Laurinavičius and
Ilona Baliūnaitė

Humblebragging &mdash bragging masked by a complaint or humility &mdash really infuriates people. Mainly because the disguise isn't fooling us.

A 2018 study from researchers at Harvard and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that it is even worse than regular, straight-up self-promotion. The latter at least comes off as genuine!

However, some folks just can't help it. They let their insecurities get the best of them and put their false modesty on full display, ready to savor all the attention and recognition it might earn.

When that happens, they end up on a subreddit called r/HumbleBrag. The online community for shaming this pitiful self-presentation. Continue scrolling and check out some of its top posts.


50 Times People Felt The Need To “Humble Brag” Online And Got Shamed For It

Rokas Laurinavičius and
Ilona Baliūnaitė

Humblebragging &mdash bragging masked by a complaint or humility &mdash really infuriates people. Mainly because the disguise isn't fooling us.

A 2018 study from researchers at Harvard and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that it is even worse than regular, straight-up self-promotion. The latter at least comes off as genuine!

However, some folks just can't help it. They let their insecurities get the best of them and put their false modesty on full display, ready to savor all the attention and recognition it might earn.

When that happens, they end up on a subreddit called r/HumbleBrag. The online community for shaming this pitiful self-presentation. Continue scrolling and check out some of its top posts.


50 Times People Felt The Need To “Humble Brag” Online And Got Shamed For It

Rokas Laurinavičius and
Ilona Baliūnaitė

Humblebragging &mdash bragging masked by a complaint or humility &mdash really infuriates people. Mainly because the disguise isn't fooling us.

A 2018 study from researchers at Harvard and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that it is even worse than regular, straight-up self-promotion. The latter at least comes off as genuine!

However, some folks just can't help it. They let their insecurities get the best of them and put their false modesty on full display, ready to savor all the attention and recognition it might earn.

When that happens, they end up on a subreddit called r/HumbleBrag. The online community for shaming this pitiful self-presentation. Continue scrolling and check out some of its top posts.


50 Times People Felt The Need To “Humble Brag” Online And Got Shamed For It

Rokas Laurinavičius and
Ilona Baliūnaitė

Humblebragging &mdash bragging masked by a complaint or humility &mdash really infuriates people. Mainly because the disguise isn't fooling us.

A 2018 study from researchers at Harvard and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that it is even worse than regular, straight-up self-promotion. The latter at least comes off as genuine!

However, some folks just can't help it. They let their insecurities get the best of them and put their false modesty on full display, ready to savor all the attention and recognition it might earn.

When that happens, they end up on a subreddit called r/HumbleBrag. The online community for shaming this pitiful self-presentation. Continue scrolling and check out some of its top posts.


50 Times People Felt The Need To “Humble Brag” Online And Got Shamed For It

Rokas Laurinavičius and
Ilona Baliūnaitė

Humblebragging &mdash bragging masked by a complaint or humility &mdash really infuriates people. Mainly because the disguise isn't fooling us.

A 2018 study from researchers at Harvard and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that it is even worse than regular, straight-up self-promotion. The latter at least comes off as genuine!

However, some folks just can't help it. They let their insecurities get the best of them and put their false modesty on full display, ready to savor all the attention and recognition it might earn.

When that happens, they end up on a subreddit called r/HumbleBrag. The online community for shaming this pitiful self-presentation. Continue scrolling and check out some of its top posts.


50 Times People Felt The Need To “Humble Brag” Online And Got Shamed For It

Rokas Laurinavičius and
Ilona Baliūnaitė

Humblebragging &mdash bragging masked by a complaint or humility &mdash really infuriates people. Mainly because the disguise isn't fooling us.

A 2018 study from researchers at Harvard and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that it is even worse than regular, straight-up self-promotion. The latter at least comes off as genuine!

However, some folks just can't help it. They let their insecurities get the best of them and put their false modesty on full display, ready to savor all the attention and recognition it might earn.

When that happens, they end up on a subreddit called r/HumbleBrag. The online community for shaming this pitiful self-presentation. Continue scrolling and check out some of its top posts.


50 Times People Felt The Need To “Humble Brag” Online And Got Shamed For It

Rokas Laurinavičius and
Ilona Baliūnaitė

Humblebragging &mdash bragging masked by a complaint or humility &mdash really infuriates people. Mainly because the disguise isn't fooling us.

A 2018 study from researchers at Harvard and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that it is even worse than regular, straight-up self-promotion. The latter at least comes off as genuine!

However, some folks just can't help it. They let their insecurities get the best of them and put their false modesty on full display, ready to savor all the attention and recognition it might earn.

When that happens, they end up on a subreddit called r/HumbleBrag. The online community for shaming this pitiful self-presentation. Continue scrolling and check out some of its top posts.



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