Language is a funny thing- a seemingly innocent word in one country may mean something completely different in another.
When naming products the experts need to make sure the words they are contemplating don’t have dodgy connotations elsewhere.
Language nerds will love this list of products from around the globe and their… interesting… global definitions.
Sega, as it is pronounced in the UK and USA, sounds extremely rude in Italian.
In Italian the pronunciation “say-gah” is slang for masturbation, which explains why the company changed the pronunciation of its name to “see-ga” in Italy.
Beauty product manufacturer Clairol released a curling iron known as the “Mist Stick” but unfortunately, “Mist” translates as “Manure” in German, so when the “Manure Stick” was released in Germany, the product was not successful, to say the least.
A latte is Italian for milk and is the shortened name for a “cafe latte”- a coffee with milk. In German, however, the word “latte” means “pole” and is slang for an erection.
No one wants to be mistaken for being smutty when saying you love to slurp on a latte…
Bing is a search engine, and uses the onomatopoeic word in hopes it would attract users from other more popular sites.
In China, however, “Bing” means “illness” so it goes without saying that no one in China will want to touch it.
Siri is such a pretty name… in some languages. In another, however, it is pretty rude.
In Georgian, the Kartvelian language spoken by the people of Georgia, “Siri” actually means “penis”. Not sure how many Georgians want to ask a penis for information or directions.
Lumia is the name of a smartphone and is supposed to conjure images of light and speed, but for Spanish smartphone users it is something else entirely.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, “lumia” is a synonym “prostituta”… a lady of the night.