An Englishman, Frenchman, Mexican, and Texan were flying across country on a small plane when the pilot comes on the loud speaker and says ” We`re having mechanical problems and the only way we can make it to the next airport is for 3 of you to open the door and jump, at least one of you can survive” The four open the door and look out below. The Englishman takes a deep breath and hollers ”God Save The Queen” and jumps. The Frenchman gets really inspired and hollers ”Viva La France” and he also jumps. This really pumps up the Texan so he hollers ”Remember the Alamo” and he grabs the Mexican and throws him out of the plane.-16+
Cracking an international market is a goal of most growing corporations. It shouldn’t be that hard, yet even the big multi-nationals run into trouble because of language and cultural differences. For example, observe the following examples below.
The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means ”bite the wax tadpole” or ”female horse stuffed with wax” depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40, 000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, ”ko-kou-ko-le,” which can be loosely translated as ”happiness in the mouth.”
In Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan ”Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” came out as ”Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead.”
Also in Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan ”finger-lickin’ good” came out as ”eat your fingers off.”
The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, ”Salem - Feeling Free,” got translated in the Japanese market into ”When smoking Salem, you feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty.”
When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that ”no va” means ”it won’t go.” After the company figured out why it wasn’t selling any cars, it renamed the car in its Spanish markets to the Caribe.
When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say ”It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” However, the company mistakenly thought the spanish word ”embarazar” meant embarrass. Instead the ads said that ”It wont leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”
An American t-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of the desired ”I Saw the Pope” in Spanish, the shirts proclaimed ”I Saw the Potato.”
Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into Schweppes Toilet Water.
”France is the most civilized country in the world and doesn’t care who knows it.” —John Gunther
”France is a nation devoted to the false hypothesis on which it then builds marvelously logical structures.” —Gore Vidal
”How can anyone govern a nation that has 240 different kinds of cheese?” —Charles de Gaulle
”Dogs smoke in France.” —Ozzy Osbourne
”We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be, detested in France.” —Duke of Wellington
”What I gained by being in France was learning to be better satisfied with my own country.” —Samuel Johnson
”Everything is on such a clear financial basis in France. It is the simplest country to live in. No one makes things complicated by becoming your friend for any obscure reason. If you want people to like you, you have only to spend a little money.” —Ernest Hemingway
”France is the only country where the money falls apart, and you can’t tear the toilet paper.” —Billy Wilder
”They aren’t much at fighting wars anymore. Despite their reputation for fashion, their women have spindly legs. Their music is sappy. But they do know how to whip up a plate of grub.” —Mike Royko
”The French probably invented the very notion of discretion. It’s not that they feel that what you don’t know won’t hurt you; they feel that what you don’t know won’t hurt them. To the French lying is simply talking.” —Fran Lebowitz
”Every Frenchman wants to enjoy one or more privileges; that’s the way he shows his passion for equality.” —Charles de Gaulle
”If the French were really intelligent, they’d speak English.” —Wilfrid Sheed
”Germans with good food.” —Fran Lebowitz
”France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country. France has usually been governed by prostitutes.” —Mark Twain
”I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me.” —General George S. Patton
”Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion.” —Norman Schwartzkopf
”We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it.” —Marge Simpson
”As far as I’m concerned, war always means failure.” —Jacques Chirac, President of France
”As far as France is concerned, you’re right.” —Rush Limbaugh
”The only time France wants us to go to war is when the German Army is sitting in Paris sipping coffee.” —Regis Philbin
”The French are a smallish, monkey-looking bunch and not dressed any better, on average, than the citizens of Baltimore. True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whiskey I don’t know.” —P. J O’Rourke (1989)
”You know, the French remind me a little bit of an aging actress of the 1940s who was still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn’t have the face for it.” —John McCain, U. S. Senator from Arizona
”They’ve taken their own precautions against Al Qaeda. To prepare for an attack, each Frenchman is urged to keep duct tape, a white flag, and a three-day supply of mistresses in the house.” —Argus Hamilton
”The only way the French are going in is if we tell them we found truffles in Iraq.” —Dennis Miller
”I would call the French scumbags, but that, of course, would be a disservice to bags filled with scum. I say we invade Iraq, then invade Chirac.” —Dennis Miller
”You know why the French don’t want to bomb Saddam Hussein? Because he hates America, he loves mistresses and wears a beret. He IS French, people.” —Conan O’Brien
”I don’t know why people are surprised that France won’t help us get Saddam out of Iraq. After all, France wouldn’t help us get the Germans out of France!” —Jay Leno
”The last time the French asked for ’more proof,’ it came marching into Paris under a German flag.” —David Letterman
An old saying: Raise your right hand if you like the French.... Raise both hands if you are French.
Next time there’s a war in Europe, the loser has to keep France.
A Brit, a Frenchman and a Russian are viewing a painting of Adam and Eve frolicking in the Garden of Eden.
”Look at their reserve, their calm,” muses the Brit. ”They must be British.”
”Nonsense,” the Frenchman disagrees. ”They’re naked, and so beautiful. Clearly, they are French.”
”No clothes, no shelter,” the Russian points out, ”they have only an apple to eat, and they’re being told this is paradise. They are Russian.”