Exporting: And What Does It Mean in Farsi?

Ad slogans that are successful in English don't always travel well

You've probably heard the one about the Chevy Nova: General Motors' effort to market the car in Spanish-speaking countries--where no va means "doesn't go"--is a legendary blunder. And cross-language advertising is a bigger challenge than ever, as the first American company that tries to use the word pet in a French ad will find out. Intel is known for its cutting-edge technology, but the original translation of its Pentium IV chip was too edgy for Koreans; it means "chip of death." Kentucky Fried Chicken found good news and bad news when it went global with its "finger-lickin' good" slogan. In Chinese,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!