a) An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of the desired ‘I Saw the Pope’ in Spanish, the shirts proclaimed ‘I Saw the Potato.’
b) In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into Schweppes Toilet Water.
c) In Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan ‘finger-lickin’ good’ came out as ‘eat your fingers off.’
d) Ford had a problem naming a car in Brazil when the Pinto flopped. The company found out that Pinto was Brazilian slang for ‘tiny male genitals’. Ford pried all the nameplates off and substituted Corcel, which means horse.
e) When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say, ‘It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.’However, the company mistakenly thought the Spanish word ‘embarazar’ meant embarrass. Instead the ads said, ‘It wont leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.’
f) The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means, ‘bite the wax tadpole’ or ‘female horse stuffed with wax’ depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, ‘ko-kou-ko-le,’ which can be loosely translated as ‘happiness in the mouth.’
g) To even it up Will and Guy found this one from Coca Colas rival.
In Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan ‘Come alive with the Pepsi Generation’ came out as ‘Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead.’
Paul, a senior official in his company, walked into a London bank and asked to see the loan’s manager.
He said he was going to America on business for two weeks and needed to borrow £10,000 [$19,000USD]. The loan manager said that the bank would need some collateral for such a loan.
Paul immediately handed over the keys of a Mercedes that was parked on the street in front of the bank. Everything checked out and the loan officer accepted the car as security for the loan.
An employee then drove the Mercedes into the bank’s underground garage and parked it there. Two weeks later the Paul returned, repaid the £10,000 and the interest, which amounted to some £9.41 [$18USD].
The loan officer said, ‘We do appreciate your business and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a bit puzzled. While you were away we checked and found that you are a multimillionaire. What puzzles us is why you would bother to borrow £10,000?’
With a broad grin Paul responded, ‘Where else in London can I park my car for two weeks for less than £10?’