Roll no. 61
Errors in translation
Humans are known as social animals, and it becomes essential for them to communicate with each other to share their ideas. In order to make others understand what they feel, they need to speak or converse in a language that can be understood by the audience. A failure in the translation can have adverse effects on the relation of a person to another. Translation is one of the most critical jobs in modern society. As the whole globe is coming together based on information sharing and communicative advances, it is only natural that there has been a constant demand and need for translation of ideas from one language to another. There have had incidences in human history, where entire wars were initiated just because of misinterpretations and business relations severed due to failure of communications. Translation is no longer just the process of translating words, but has evolved into the transformation of meaning and intentions. Hence, it becomes even more important for large companies to make sure that when they advertise or market their products, they do not hurt the sentiments of any person, belonging to any culture.
Coca-Cola, a multinational corporation spends huge amount of money in advertising its product. The cola drink company advertised and marketed itself by taking itself to China. Trying to come up with something that sounds like the brand name, they introduced the drink under the name "Kekoukela" not knowing that it meant "Bite the Wax Tadpole" or "Female Horse Stuffed with Wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "Kokoukole", translating into "Happiness in the Mouth."
A similar case had happened with Coca-Cola’s rival company, Pepsi. While marketing in the country of Taiwan, Pepsi’s slogan “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” came out to be “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from dead” when it was...