Adam Wooten">

Top 10 translation blunders

Published: Friday, Dec. 23 2011 8:11 a.m. MST

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AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Nokia chose the name Lumia for its new phone knowing full well it was an obscure Spanish word for a lady of the night. The cellular company decided to select the name anyway when research showed most Spanish speakers were unaware of the old meaning. When the press discovered the old definition, however, the resulting buzz spread worldwide. In this case, since the meaning has changed, any publicity may possibly be good publicity.

Honorable mention elsewhere in the world: Other companies encountered similar brand name challenges this year. For instance, some have questioned whether Apple’s Siri or the UK’s Pret a Manger monikers would be problematic in Japan and France. Thanks to a little homework, the Royal Canadian Air Force has avoided a similar naming gaffe.

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