30 August 2013

At the Very Least You Should Check Google Translate...

You may have seen this on my Facebook page a few weeks ago, but I thought it was worth reiterating here.
Learning the slang words in a foreign language is so important.


My poor husband had no idea that "bites" was an innocent word in English, and was quite shocked when I asked him what he thought of this advertising campaign. "C'est quoi ça?!"

I certainly got a good chuckle out of it.

A lot of French teachers avoid teaching slang in their classrooms, because they want to teach "correct" French. While I agree that it's really important to speak French properly, if you're teaching college aged students who might potentially use French in their work life, being aware that such slang exists is really important.

In a French a "bite" is an extremely vulgar word for p*nis. The English equivalent starts with a D.

Can you imagine being a French person and stumbling across this ad?

"Little D**ks.
Big compliments."

I don't think that's the message that they're trying to get across.

Note: Bite is pronounced "beet" in French. The French word for beet (the vegetable) is betterave. So the next time you're eating with French friends avoiding announcing to the entire table that, "Je n'aime pas mangé les beets." It doesn't translate well.

This has got to be one of the most common foreign exchange student mistakes when moving to a French country, and one of the most embarrassing. :)

*This advertising campaign dates back to 2010. They've changed it since then and corrected their mistake, but I still think we can learn from it. Plus, it makes me laugh.

...............................................

 Any other silly/terrible mistakes you've seen with international marketing campaigns?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to know what you think!