Connect with us


Translation Mishaps By Companies

Who ever said that understanding a language was easy? The only thing that may be more difficult is to understand a local custom or tradition with the intent to sell something to them. All of these companies certainly are guilty of ignoring local customs or not paying attention to how things directly translate to a new language. Here’s a few examples of some marketing campaigns gone wrong when things get lost in translation.


As Pepsi began expanding their market in China, their catchy slogan “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” had been widely popular in English speaking countries as well as in other languages. When introduced in China, the slogan literally meant “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”. It was certainly never Pepsi’s original intention to deliver that message, although the slogan may have ended up getting a few unintentional sales after all!

Unfortunately for Pepsi, they didn’t seem to learn from their lesson the first time around, and lost a significant share of their market in Southeast Asia by not paying attention to local customs. Pepsi redesigned many of their vending machines to be light blue, but unbeknownst to them, light blue is the color of death and mourning in Southeast Asia.


Everyone recognizes the cute baby face on Gerber’s baby food jars and other products. It’s a brand they’ve been building for decades, and it’s recognized all over the world. When they introduced baby food to countries in Africa, they failed to realize how many of the food products in Africa are labeled. Because literacy rates are low in many African countries, local food companies use labels to denote what’s actually inside the jar. You can only imagine the horror of people when they saw the image of a baby on the side of a jar in a store.

The Dairy Association

One of the more recent translation mishaps occurred with the widely known and somewhat successful “Got Milk?” campaign led by the Dairy Association. When introduced to Mexico, they never altered their successful slogan and “got milk?” directly translated to “are you lactating?” in Spanish.


In another example of a company that isn’t very good at Spanish, Coors used to use the catchy slogan “Turn it Loose” for all of their marketing needs. Unfortunately for them, when translated directly to Spanish it was understood as slang for “Suffer from Diarrhea”. Certainly not the message Coors would want to market about their beer.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source

This article was contributed by 7C Lingo, which provides language translation services and cross-cultural communication for a variety of organizations.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts

Business3 days ago

Why Is Quantity Surveying Essential in Construction Industry

Quantity surveying is an essential part of the Australian construction industry. It is the process of calculating and estimating the...

Home Improvement5 days ago

How to Maintain Upholstered Furniture

No matter if you have pets or kids, maintaining your upholstered furniture is quite a challenge. Even though vacuuming it...

Business1 week ago

How Do I Find a Good Developer?

Finding a good bubble developer to help build your app or digital product can seem challenging. How can you choose...

Home Improvement2 weeks ago

When is a right time for home repairs?

Summer is a popular time for a renovation around the globe. While it is true that bright days and warm...

Top Alteryx Competitors Top Alteryx Competitors
Tech4 weeks ago

Top 15 Alteryx Competitors

The world has seen a tremendous rise in startups and new incorporations in the business world. Companies have great potential...

Lifestyle1 month ago

Latest Wedding Trends for 2023

If you’re planning on getting married this year, chances are you’re probably overwhelmed and confused when it comes to wedding...

Lifestyle1 month ago

Tips To Make The Most Of Your City Break In London!

London is one of the best cities in the world, known for its quintessentially British culture, great nightlife, fantastic museums...

General1 month ago

The Ultimate Guide To Packing For A Trip To London

London is one of the best cities in the world, known for it’s rich history, quintessentially British culture, the best...

Tech2 months ago

Top 15 Web Development IDEs

The web development field has seen sustainable growth throughout the years. As technology is advancing, so is the web development...

devops devops
Tech2 months ago

12 Key DevOps Programming Languages to Still Popular in 2022

“DevOps is not a goal, but a never-ending process of continual improvement.” – Jez Humble Delivering the finest of services...

Entertainment2 months ago

Festival Fashion Style Tips For 2022

Summer is well and truly here and with that comes the festival season! From the biggest stars performing on stage...

Green & Energy2 months ago

4 Tips For Making Your Wardrobe More Sustainable

Everyone is trying to make more of an effort to make their wardrobe more sustainable, but often are unsure where...

General3 months ago

7 tips on how to organize a budget-friendly move

If you are planning a move any time soon, you might be worried about all the expenses that wait for...

Metal Roof Colors Metal Roof Colors
Home Improvement3 months ago

Metal Roof Colors: How to Select the Best Color for a New Roof

Choosing the right type of material for your roof is enough of a hassle already that the question of choosing...

Health3 months ago

Simple Ways To Feel More Confident At The Gym

If you are new to the gym, or you haven’t been in a while, sometimes you might not feel completely...