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1 May 2015
Seek professional translation advice when choosing your product name and strapline
You have formed a new company. You have registered your company name – check. You have decided on your product name – check. You have come up with a quirky and original strapline slogan for your product – check. You are at the starting blocks, ready to launch your company and its products into the global marketplace but have you checked how these translate into different languages?
A strapline in one language may be funny, original and creative but in another language it may come across as negative or detrimental to your company.
There may be implications to the names that you have chosen so always check with a translation agency before you go ahead, especially if you have created the name from scratch. They can give you advice on the name and perhaps suggest another way to word your strap-line when used in a different country.
When companies think up the name and a strapline for their product they may not have thought through the future sales plan and how these words and sentences may look when translated into another language.
There have been some real bloopers in the past and even a few major corporations have struggled with the translation aspect.
Kentucky Fried Chicken – English to Chinese
The Kentucky Fried Chicken strapline “finger-lickin’ good” became “eat your fingers off”.
Pepsi – English to Chinese
The Pepsi slogan, “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated in Taiwanese became, “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead”.
Schweppes – English to Italian
A campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated into “Schweppes Toilet Water”.
General Motors – English to Spanish
General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, unaware that “No Va” literally translated means “no go”.
Coca-Cola – English to Chinese
In China, the Coca-Cola name was first read as “ke-kou-ke-la”, meaning “Female horse stuffed with wax” or “Bite the wax tadpole” depending on which dialect was used.
It is so important to get this stage right and one phone call is all it will take to avoid a problem with your branding.
Please visit our translation page or contact our friendly team who will be happy to assist you with your company names and straplines, contact us on:
Tel: 0800 0966 825 (UK only)
Tel: +44 (0)1329 828438 (outside UK)