Last updated on November 22nd, 2017 at 01:31 pm
Oftentimes it is assumed that a word in one language is meaningless in another.
For example: in the United States there are often untranslated product names that, while consumers may not understand the meaning of the name, customers do acknowledge it as a legitimately ethnic product.
Sometimes, however, this is not the case. When a product name is left untranslated it could be a false cognate.
It could be harmless, or on the other hand it can be image ruining.
There are countless examples of the false cognate “mist,” which is a word in both English and German.
Mist, in English, means a wispy cloud of liquid.
Mist, in German, means manure or dung.
Some companies that made this oversight:
Irish Mist Whiskey.
Clairol Mist Stick
The company that noticed:
Rolls Royce planned to call the successor to their “Silver Cloud,” the “Silver Mist,” but renamed it the “Silver Shadow,” prior to production, after realizing the car’s unintended German meaning.
Avoid these brand ruining issues by working with a reliable translation agency with experience in Global Marketing.