Top 15 Translation Fails That Will Leave You Laughing Out Loud
There are many funny things on the internet, but translation fails are a class apart. Translation mistakes have been with us for a long time, and since the dawn of internet these mistakes kept on increasing and becoming funnier. Below, I will share with you some of the top translation fails and mistakes.
We already know that Wrong Pronunciation Can Change The Meaning Of A Word, but these translation fails take it to a completely new level.
Here Are Some Of The Top Translation Fails
Coca-Cola’s Arrival In China
When Coca-Cola arrived in China, it received a very dull response from the Chinese. The reason being, the Chinese characters that represented the brand read “KeKouKela”, which meant “bite the wax tadpole” in Chinese. I am not sure how the Chinese took it, but it left me giggling.
Thanks, I Shall Not Pass
Pepsi Joined The Race Too
Pepsi also joined the race with CocaCola in Chinese market and made a mistake. They used to have a slogan ” Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation”; it was translated to Chinese and the outcome was horrible. The slogan in Chinese meant “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”.
Russia Threatened America?
In a famous speech during Cold War era, Nikita Kruschev, a Soviet Statesman mistakenly threatened America. What he meant to say was “My vas pokhoronim!”, which means “we will outlast you”. But because of his personal translator, he ended up outraging Americans by saying, “we will bury you”.
But I’m Hungry
Mexican Parker Disaster
Parker Pens just wanted to advertise in Mexico by letting them know that “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” But, who knew that things won’t go well. They messed up the translation somehow, which meant “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.” TBH Parker was honest to an extent. No?
Not Hungry Anymore, Thanks
Didn’t Know Beer Can Do That
Coors’ Beer went about advertising in Spanish, and decided to promote the brand with the Slogan “Turn It Loose”. The translation of this slogan came out as “Suffer From Diarrhea”. Would you have tried this beer?
And They Were Wondering Why Foreigners Never Returned
Rabbit Of Holland?
This story belongs to 1806, when Napoleon Bonaparte crowned Ludovic Napoleon the king of Holland. Unaware of the fact that Konijin meant Rabbit and Koning meant King, Lodewijk declared himself Konijin van Olland, or Rabbit of Holland.
Nobody Would Want To Drink That
Schweppes manufactures tonic water. When it entered Italian market, a very bad translation mistake was made. Their translation meant “Schweppes Toilet Water” in Italian.
Yes, We Are Wildlife’s Food
They meant to say, Don’t feed the animals.
In 1950s, chocolate companies wanted to grow in Japan. They started encouraging the people to celebrate Valentine’s Day for it. One of the major chocolate company’s advertisement’s translation mistake changed the Valentine’s custom for good in Japan. Because of the advertisement, women started giving chocolates to men on Valentine’s day, and men had to give back chocolates on 14th March. The custom still continues.
Translation Fail Might Have Resulted in America Bombing Japan
Not many people know, but it is believed that America dropped Nuclear bombs on Japan because of a translation error of a single word! You can read more about it on New York Times.
So, these were some of the best translation fails and mistakes. If you have a similar story or picture, you can share it with us below. And, if you would never want to make such translation mistake, you can always keep a translation app handy. Meet the Alpha Translator app, which supports more than 3600 language translation combinations. It is light weight, does translation real quick, and you can even listen to the pronunciation of translated text.