Lost In Translation

The online marketing magazine, The Drum, repaid a visit to an age-old problem, taking an advertising slogan global.  For example, Bensi, Mercedes Benz’s advertising name for Chinese consumers, translates as “rush to your death.”

The 1970s Coors slogan, “Turn it loose,” promoted its new twist-off cap translates in Spanish-speaking countries to “Drink this, and you’ll suffer from diarrhea.”

But my all-time favorite translation was not included in their story.  I grew up with 1960s LA television kid shows Sheriff John, Engineer Bill, and Tom Hatton’s Popeye.  Many of their sponsors’ advertising jingles are stuck in my brain.
Do any of you gray-hairs remember BOSCO chocolate syrup?

My wife grew up in Duluth, Minnesota.  She is of Finnish descent.
She laughed almost uncontrollably when I sang the BOSCO jingle.

I love Bosco, so rich and chocolatey. Chocolate-flavored Bosco is mighty good for me.  Momma puts it in my milk for extra energy.  Bosco gives me iron and sunshine vitamin D.  Oh, I love Bosco! That’s the drink for me!”

I don’t remember why I sang this golden oldie.  But I did.
Bosco translates in Finnish to “shit”.

The point, be careful when speaking to a global community.






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