auerbach intl blog
Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go!
November, the month of turkey and stuffing, pumpkin pies and cranberry sauce, and tipsy old uncles who always say the wrong thing during Thanksgiving dinner! November marks the start of the holiday season. The beginning of two months of family, friends and food. So, let’s take a moment to consider some lesser known but very important dates to celebrate:
Absurdity Day
Buy Nothing Day
National Mason Jar Day
Have a Party with Your Bear Day
Kick back and enjoy Have a Bad Day Day or National Indian Pudding Day on your way to Thanksgiving. Grab the green bean casserole and candied yams but forget the free, online translation site or you’ll end up with a really unpleasant Thanksgiving surprise! And speaking of surprises, let’s pass the gravy and mashed potatoes and settle in with a delightful journey through November’s Friday Funnies!

In 2018 a devastating earthquake hit Indonesia. Citizens used Facebook to communicate their status but were shocked to find that their postings included confetti and celebratory balloons. Facebook's algorithm incorrectly identified the context of the Indonesian word "selamat", which can mean "be safe", "to survive" or "congratulations", and translated it as the latter rather than the former and added the celebratory graphics. A most embarrassing and avoidable mistake by Facebook.


The Netflix Korean hit series, "Squid Games", suffered from multiple contextual and translation errors as episodes were subtitled from Korean to American English. Because of these errors and omissions, many key elements of the original story were absent in the subtitles leaving viewers in the US with only a partial appreciation of the story.

justin tradeu

In 2016, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a speech at the White House. If you viewed his speech on ABC television you watched Trudeau - speaking in Canadian French - discuss "... train stations in Motorola", praise "... Nazi innings", and speaking on behalf of "... us old guys." He actually said none of those things but ABC's automated subtitling translation software consistently made the errors that the viewing audience consumed.


In 2001, Honda debuted its compact "Fitta". Honda believed the "Fitta" name had a hip, European sound to it. But there was a problem with the name. "Fitta", in Swedish, translates as a vulgar term for women's genitalia, and it sounds very similar to obscenities in both Italy and Spain. Honda previewed the name with linguists in multiple markets and immediately switched the "Fitta" name to "Jazz" in those markets that would have been offended.

And lastly …

flyer avengers

Disney is an entertainment monolith with a massive global reach. One of its biggest franchises is the Marvel Studios universe of comic-based movies. The studio released "Avengers: Infinity War" in 2018, and immediately received complaints from its Korean moviegoers protesting the mistake-laden English to Korean translated subtitles in the movie. In fact, the Korean word for "seed" was mistranslated into the Korean word for "f%ck." Just like Mantle, no Mickey is always perfect!

Five global powerhouses and five examples of translation mistakes that could have or did hurt their brands. Often, the smallest detail, such as using a professional translation firm to make sure your message is accurate and not offensive, can mean the difference between a small investment and a huge loss. Real confidence comes with knowing that the meaning of your communications are accurate in both word and meaning – the first time, every time. Trust the best in the business, Auerbach International, to ensure that the smallest missed details don’t turn into a disaster.
Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving feast, overflowing with clear and perfectly communicated conversations that are absent of unintended obscenities. And when you’ve recovered from that food coma, send us a note. We’d love to keep the correct communications flowing for your business through the holidays and beyond!
Go ahead, have that extra piece of pie – Happy Thanksgiving!
Chris Hempel
Director of Client Success
phone 415-592-0042 X125
mobile 818-445-4451
“3 Decades. 2 Billion Words. A+ Accuracy. Superior Translation Services.”
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