Would you fancy a “plague” of chocolate, or a dish flavored with “a lot of herpes”? Translating foreign words directly into the English language isn’t always such a straightforward process, as these international food items so deliciously illustrate.
Check out these hilarious food campaigns, sometimes a result of labeling errors, sometimes bad marketing pure and simple. One has to wonder whether the message was lost in translation or if these providers communicate exactly what they intend…
Soup for Sluts, Ramen Noodles
It’s generally considered rude to call a girl a slut, but this company wouldn’t know because they didn’t hire an interpreter OR a marketing firm! Otherwise, it would seem someone on the packaging team asked a pertinent question: “What type of people like cheap, fast, and easy noodles?”
The Delicious Classic: Child Shredded Meat
Maybe it should read “chilled,” although that doesn’t really make sense for bottled meat either… Maybe they meant “kid” as in “young goat”? Except it looks a bit pale…
Spicy Cold Children
For just $6.99, you could have “Spicy Cold Children” for dinner–children again! Please do not reheat this product. In this particular example, we’re assuming the restaurant meant chicken.
- Read: Food Names Gone Wrong
Homo Sausage for dinner, everyone! Is it homosapien or homosexual sausage? Does it need cooking? Does it matter?
Wasted and Broke Ramen Noodle Soup
When customers consider your product, do you really have to remind them how “wasted and broke” they are? What subtle flavor of cow is this, by the way? Oh, WHOLE cow, that’s right!
Pet Sweat is said to be an energy drink for active dogs – along the lines of the rehydration drink Pocari Sweat for us humans. Move along: no errors to see here!
Pee Cola is an early morning brew with a limited edition hand-painted label. Serve with bilharzia-infected ice for maximum enjoyment.
The Jew’s Ear Juice
The Jew’s Ear Juice is a unique product with a great package design…should be a good seller. Translated from Japanese, we’re not sure if this is what the manufacturer meant to offer for best description.
We can’t quite tell what these are, but assume they are some kind of crispy snack. What does the label say? Oh, delicious! ABV: already been vomited? We just hope the snacks don’t have the same affect on eaters, making them vomit after eating.
In All Seriousness
Although these translations can be funny, it’s important to note how even professional marketers have problems with language. Because many of the languages involved in these examples have phonetic elements, with letters representing sounds rather than words, we can only assume pronunciation somehow led to selecting the wrong the English written word.
Facing these legitimate difficulties, foreign marketing teams should consider enlisting the help of qualified English tutors to educate relevant staff members to prevent these issues at the source. If companies seek such services in their area, they should consider perusing the corporate English language packages from Language Trainers, available around the globe.