Friday Funnies – Puke, Crack and other Delicacies

Welcome to the May Friday Funnies!

It’s already May? 2022 is flying by with a third of the year in our rear view mirror! The economy is racing forward and businesses, like yours, are supercharged. May gives us so much to appreciate and celebrate. It’s a month notable not just as the gateway to summer but as a time when we recognize the best of life including:

National Lumpy Rug Day
National No Pants Day
National Odometer Day
National Lost Socks Memorial Day

Now, like the Kentucky Derby, it’s off to the Friday Funnies races!

No Memorial Day picnic is complete without it!




A fan favorite – at your local gastroenterologist’s office.











The beverage name foreshadows the outcome of consumption…





… and the snack name foreshadows the outcome of consumption.










Both an entree and a conversation piece!





Whether your Memorial Day festivities include unique menu items or tried and true favorites, a clear understanding of the ingredients is crucial to a successful event. The same is true for your organization. Clear and accurate communications with your non-English speaking customers is critical to the success of your business.

Think of Auerbach International as your essential cookbook, translating your communications so your customers are served the perfectly prepared business message. Whether for documents; websites; or interpretation in-person, via video or telephonically, Auerbach International has spent over 30 years ensuring our clients’ “cooking” is accurate in word and meaning.

Incorrect translations are “puke” and can “shred” your business’ reputation. Give us a call. Our team at Auerbach International is dedicated to making your communications smooth, error free and thoroughly digestible for your customers!



Chris Hempel
Director of Client Success
Auerbach International
Phone: 415-592-0042 x125
Mobile: 818-445-4451

Funny Blunders Costing Millions

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to invest huge sums into a new global venture without first gaffe-proofing their company name, product name or slogans in other languages. Checking that these names and taglines don’t contain negative connotations in key languages seems obvious … but it’s surprising how few firms actually do it.

Amazingly, the biggest violators of this simple rule of screening before proceeding are some of the world’s largest enterprises:

The former US company Wang Computer created the slogan, “Wang cares” for its worldwide offices. The UK branch refused to use it because saying the name fast sounds like “Wankers” which is UK slang for “idiot” or “fool.”
Calpis is a Japanese soft drink whose English name on its label sounds like “bovine urine,” which itself is not terribly tasty.

Ford introduced the “Pinto” in Brazil, not realizing that the name is Brazilian slang for male genitals.
A Swedish vacuum cleaner manufacturer used a slogan on British and Commonwealth TV stations which made perfect sense in Anglo-English. But when introduced on American TV, the marketing bombed because of a somewhat different meaning of the slogan, “Nothing sucks like Electrolux.”

In conclusion, some controversial names or slogans succeed. Most do not. And verifying names or slogans in other dialects of the same language is equally important. Why risk millions of marketing dollars when a very inexpensive screening upfront can determine whether to proceed? Our firm can evaluate up to seven names in ten languages for $800-$1000.

Name evaluating is but one essential aspect of expanding abroad. Join us every Friday on our website or on Apple, Spotify and other podcast sources for “Global Gurus: Stories of International Business.” Expert guests share their insights of diverse countries and topics in a fascinating and entertaining format.

To your success,


Chris Hempel
Director of Client Success
Auerbach International
Phone: 415-592-0042 x125
Mobile: 818-445-4451

Shoplifting, Police, Slow Children and Surprises – April Friday Funnies is Here!

Welcome to April Friday Funnies!

April, when thoughts run to the arrival of warmer weather, budding trees and blooming flowers. In April, we celebrate many things including:

Foot Health Awareness Month
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month
National Fresh Celery Month
National Safe Digging Month
National Soft Pretzel Month

So, without further ado … let the Funnies begin!

That’s graduating to an advanced degree!

Proactive victims are the best victims.

There may be some truth to this sign if you drop “Drive Carefully”!

I understand the “slow” part but how are they “dead” and “playing”?

Every issue of “Funnies” is designed to both tickle the funny bone and drive home the point that translation mistakes can turn into tragic business outcomes. Hiring a qualified, professional language service partner like Auerbach International will ensure that your business communications are correct in word and meaning. At Auerbach International, you’ll receive world class execution with the personal service you deserve. No automated bots or artificial intelligence chats. You’ll deal with real people, professionals at a company who have provided unequaled translation services for over 30 years.

There are no funny translation errors when it comes to your business. Don’t trust your company’s reputation to a discount translation partner; it could become the most expensive mistake your company could make. Auerbach International – Your first partner in accurate communications.

And don’t miss our new podcast series, Global Gurus: Stories of International Business, available on our website and all major podcast platforms including Apple and Spotify. Expert guests sharing wide ranging, global knowledge delivered in a fascinating, entertaining and spirited manner!

Chris Hempel
Director of Client Success
Auerbach International
Phone: 415-592-0042 x125
Mobile: 818-445-4451

Littering Police and Water Rationing – Time for Friday Funnies

Welcome, once again, to this month’s edition of Friday Funnies!

Before we commence with the revelry of comic translation blunders, let’s take a moment to consider the tragic invasion and senseless war against the people of Ukraine by Russian forces. Politics aside, we all hope for a quick resolution of this disastrous event and an end to the military strikes that continue to take the lives of innocent civilians, many of whom are children.

If you wish to support the humanitarian efforts of the United Nations in Ukraine, you can do so here – UN Ukraine Humanitarian Fund.


And, now, time for some much needed levity…

If there was water rationing, would the instructions be 6 flushes?







That’s right, let the trained, professional police do the littering.







They don’t suffer the well-behaved at that pool!







Finally, Quasimodo gets a little respect.









Brings a new meaning to “Public Toilets”.









Whether your translated message is as simple as pool regulations or street crossings, communicating it accurately is vital to both your intended audience and to the reputation of your organization. While these examples of translation faux pas are innocent enough, most business translation mistakes lead to expensive and embarrassing outcomes.

At Auerbach International, we’ve focused our Hyper-Professional, Customer-Service-First translation skills on projects large and small for over three decades. Language services may seem like an afterthought for your projects, but to your customers and business partners, the translation or interpretation they receive is their FIRST – and possibly LAST – impression of your organization.

Auerbach takes the risk out of your multilingual communications with clear, accurate and localized translations for all your business needs: first time, every time.

Auerbach International. Your first partner in accurate communications.

Chris Hempel
Director of Client Success
Auerbach International
Phone: 415-592-0042 x125
Mobile: 818-445-4451

A Confused Inventor, an Off Limits Park, Spa Tools to Avoid and Uneducated Drivers – February Friday Funnies

Welcome to February’s Friday Funnies!

The economy is heating up and business is buzzing again. Global trade is booming as logistics and supply chain obstacles are being overcome. With all this good news, what could go wrong? Well…

Even the most routine multilingual communication errors can completely upend business opportunities in a hot, economic upturn. This month’s journey through translation foibles reminds us that the smallest errors, though humorous, can result in business nightmares.

As the saying goes, “If you can’t tell ’em, confuse ’em!”






This must be signage supplied by DDAMM, Drunk Drivers Against Mad Mothers.





This is one organized community, providing recreational opportunities for everyone.





I’d hate to see what’s included in a massage!








Your company may not make “manicure” sets or street signs, but a mistranslated contract or instruction manual could become an economic disaster. Employing the services of a professional language services firm is one of the most effective and least expensive decisions your firm can make to ensure simple mistakes don’t become business disasters.

Whether you need legal, HR, technical or marketing documents translated; or you need to add language options to your website; or you require phone or in-person interpreter services, Auerbach International’s got you covered. We’ve expertly handled the needs of businesses, small and large, across all industries, for more than three decades. Give us the opportunity to serve you by contacting us by phone or via our website.


Regards ~


Chris Hempel
Director of Client Success
Auerbach International
Phone: 415-592-0042 x125
Mobile: 818-445-4451

Of Synagogues, Automatic Doors, AAT and OPI

Dear Profit,

Translating is converting written communication and Interpreting is converting spoken communication from one language to another. As the new year opens, we are delighted to present two services to facilitate both communication types.


AAT (Auerbach Automated Translation)

Auerbach Automated Translation (AAT) is our newest service to fulfill a quick need: to get the gist of what some document says or to put your words into another language when accuracy is not critical. Automated or Machine Translation (MT) is software that translates based purely on algorithms. Usually, the target-language grammar and word usage are not completely accurate, and the program can make comical mistakes. When perfection isn’t necessary, our new AAT service will translate your files for just $.06/word! Click above to learn more.

When you require guaranteed accuracy – such as for legal or healthcare communications and brochures, manuals, videos and websites to convey your professional brand — our full-service language solutions prepare any kind of file, simple or technical, into 120 languages.


OPI (Over-the-Phone Interpreting)

When you need to talk to a non- or limited-English speaker, OPI is a perfect solution. Calling a toll-free number and an assigned PIN, you either enter a provided language code or tell the responding agent your desired language. Within seconds you will be connected to an interpreter, and then can have a conversation with your client.

All calls are confidential, never recorded, and compliant with HIPAA rules for medical purposes. Best of all, you pay only for the minutes you use. No usage = No billing, with no monthly subscription. While the base rate starts at .99/minute, we offer discounts for volume and for nonprofits. Contact our project managers to enroll in advance and get instructions now so you’re prepared to use OPI whenever the need arises.


A Quick Language Tip

Translating and interpreting depend on accurate expression of the original language. If word usage or your word order is incorrect, your communications will be also. For example, a synagogue newsletter announced, “On Thursday, there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All women wishing to become Little Mothers, please see the rabbi in his private office.” Not exactly the message the synagogue wanted to convey. And even the most simple instructions can become humorous mistakes:

We look forward to serving your language needs to expand your communications to audiences at home or abroad… even those of you named Manuel.


Philip Auerbach
Founder, President & CEO
Auerbach International
CA Office – 415-592-0042 x107
PA Office – 267-865-6890 x107

Friday Funnies: Questionable Duties and Dining Choices

Happy Friday!


The revelry of the holiday season has passed, Omicron is present and there’s hope that the weeks ahead will bring about the passing of this Covid spike and a return to normalcy.

Fortunately, there are always silly translation missteps to give us a few chuckles even during a pandemic. So, without further adieu, I present to you the 2022 inaugural edition of Friday Funnies!

Well, that’s one way to get teenagers off the computer and to help with chores.







“Yes, kids, after helping with the laundry, make sure you brush your eyes to remove those images you just watched.”






“Here is lunch money, but you have to go to “Our Food” because…”





“The last time I gave you money you made a questionable restaurant choice…”




“And you ordered THIS!!!”







Whether you fancy randy laundries, virgin dining or a self-proclaimed odoriferous cafe, a mistake in translation can turn a compelling marketing campaign into a deal killer. Don’t get caught with a “Big Stank” of a translation project by using a discount language services firm (or by hiring your neighbor’s granddaughter who got a C- in French-101). Let us quote your project. We’ve been in the translation business for more than 30 years, serving the needs of businesses and government offices of all sizes and demands. Our degreed, experienced staff will handle your project with expert care. Whether translating a website, a set of legal or technical documents, or in-person, phone or video interpreting, we’ll get your project completed with absolute accuracy and swift execution. Please give us a call or review our website.


Best regards!


Chris Hempel
Director of Client Success
Auerbach International
phone 415-592-0042 X125
mobile 818-445-4451

“120+ Languages. Simple Solutions”

Variants, Cold Waves, Teapots and Boxing – Year-end Lessons in Clarity

Season’s Greetings!

Our mid-month email normally features information about language services and how those services aid organizations with their communication requirements. Clear and correct communications, whether between organizations or individuals, greatly influence the outcome of business interactions.

That said, this year-end email is making a U-turn. During these final, light-hearted days of the year, we’d like to offer some humorous spoken and written missteps for you to share with business colleagues, friends and family members.


From the world of sports:

Boxing Analyst: “Sure there have been injuries, and even some deaths in boxing, but none of them really that serious.”
Softball Announcer: “If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again.”
Paul Hamm, Gymnast: “I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father.”


Always proofread your signs:

Office break room sign: “After Tea Break, Staff Should Empty The Teapot And Stand Upside Down On The Draining Board”
Repair shop sign: “We Can Repair Anything. (Please Knock Hard On The Door – The Bell Doesn’t Work.)
London department store sign: “Bargain Basement Upstairs”
Health food store sign: “Closed Due To Illness”


News headline failures:

“Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead”
“Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures”
“Miners Refuse to Work After Death”
“Kids Make Nutritious Snacks”
“War Dims Hope for Peace”

… and a few final laughs to share



Hoping your holiday season is safe, joyous and crystal clear!

Chris Hempel
Director of Year-End Humor
Auerbach International
Direct 415-592-0042 x125
Mobile 818-445-4451

“120+ Languages. Simple Solutions”

Spiders, Goats, Skates and KFC make for Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays!



‘Tis the season for warm cheer, visions of sugarplums, the scent of pine and the rich taste of eggnog. The Currier and Ives vision of an American Holiday Season may create a mythic standard here but not all across the globe. Consider a few fun traditions that are fixtures elsewhere.

The Legend of the Christmas Spider. There is a traditional Ukrainian tale of a widow who was too poor to provide presents for her children. Waking up on Christmas morning, her children found their tree covered with spider webs and as the morning sun illuminated the webs, they turned into silver and gold and the family was never poor again. Today, Ukrainians place small pavuchky (spiders) ornaments and tinsel all over their Christmas trees for good luck!


The Yule Goat. An ancient Scandinavian tradition honors the straw goat. The Yule Goat’s meaning has morphed in many ways over the centuries. In Sweden, people regarded the Yule Goat (Julbock) as an invisible spirit that would appear some time before Christmas to make sure that the Yule preparations were done right. Today, the Julbock is a standard Christmas decoration in communities, in homes and as ornaments on Christmas trees.


Roller-Skating to Mass. In Caracas, Venezuela, people celebrate Christmas Eve by going to early morning mass… on roller-skates! Streets around churches are closed to traffic as parishioners arrive on manually powered wheels. When Mass has concluded, they fill the streets in celebration – dancing, singing and enjoying food. It’s believed that the roller-skates are the alternative to snow sledding that is experienced at Christmastime in less temperate climates.



Kentucky for Christmas – in 1974, the newly established KFC Japan launched an advertising campaign targeting expats in Tokyo who longed for American food for the Christmas holiday. Much to KFC Japan’s surprise the campaign appealed to the entire population and a feast of KFC has since become a national tradition on December 24th.


A spider ornament may seem creepy, a huge straw goat may seem peculiar, roller-skating to church may seem unusual and Kentucky Fried Chicken seems like an odd holiday meal choice but when placed in their specific cultural contexts, all make complete sense. Culture frames all languages, which is why it’s essential to use a professional translation service to handle your global communications. At Auerbach International, we’ve spent more than three decades ensuring that we translate the words, in the correct cultural context, of your business communications in over 120 languages… and we do so accurately and precisely. Give us a call and let us help ensure your global and multilingual success.

A healthy and joyous season to all!


Chris Hempel
Director of Client Success
Auerbach International
Direct 415-592-0042 x125
Mobile 818-445-4451

“120+ Languages. Simple Solutions”

A Step Sister or a Sister-In-Law, Lost in Translation for your Organization

Hello, Profit,

You may be aware of Machine Translation (MT), and how it’s implemented by organizations to convert websites and documents into other languages. MT is commonly used as an umbrella term to describe all translation software but it’s only one of two similar processes. The sister process of MT is CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) which is, as the title suggests, software that assists the translation process of a trained, translation professional. MT does translations directly, generally without human involvement.

Each software process has it’s strengths and preferred applications. For instance, MT is generally effective when used to translate technical information, especially in languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Tagalog, and it’s less effective when translating conversational subjects or literature in those languages. It is far less effective, regardless of content type, translating Dutch, German, the Scandinavian and Slavic languages, Hindi, Bengali, Korean, Farsi and many other languages. Where MT falls short is that it doesn’t include the cultural elements so crucial to the complete communication of the intended message.

CAT software is used by all serious translation professionals to increase efficiency, streamlining the process of proofing, editing and storing content. Employing CAT allows the translation firm to systematically review the content, creating a memory of words, phrases, acronyms and abbreviations to aid the project manager in maintaining a consistently translated document. The project team starts a project utilizing CAT as a tool so that they are able to complete the translation with maximum accuracy and consistency. Because of this hybrid approach to the process, CAT software is key to the successful completion of projects by a trained, language service professional.

An illustration of the differences between MT and CAT would be translating the French term “belle-sœur” which literally means “beautiful sister.” A widely used MT product, Google Translate, will render the expression as “sister-in-law.” While this is correct, the words can also mean “step-sister” which has a very different meaning and why a human review, utilizing CAT software, will consistently make the correct translation based on the context of the the words.

This brief lesson in translation technology shows how easy it is for organizations to make the mistake of assuming MT is sufficient for their professional documents, projects or website translations. When it comes to language services, penny wise and pound foolish could lead to a negative outcome for your firm. Contact us to professionally handle your language projects with guaranteed accuracy from or into 120+ languages.



Philip Auerbach
Founder, President & CEO
Auerbach International
CA Office – 415-592-0042 x107
PA Office – 267-865-6890 x107