5 Winter Celebrations to Enjoy with Your Customers and Colleagues

The days are getting shorter, the air is getting colder, and all around the world, it’s human nature to brighten up the winter season by celebrating with friends and family.

Your colleagues and customers alike will celebrate in different ways depending on their religion, culture and where they (or their families) are from. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to celebrating the winter holidays with colleagues, customers and friends from around the world.


When to celebrate: 25 December, but some Orthodox churches celebrate it on 7 January.

Everyone knows Christmas, but when it comes to how other cultures celebrate, you might know less than you think.

Here’s a cheat sheet of Christmas greetings and fun facts from 5 different countries.


What to say

  • Happy Christmas: “Nollaig shona dhuit” if you’re talking to one person or “Nollaig shona daoibh” if you’re addressing a group.
  • Season’s Greetings: Beannachtaí an tSéasúir

Fun fact: A candle in the window has long been a traditional Irish way to advertise hospitality to lonely travellers who might happen to pass by on Christmas Eve. However, in modern times it’s come by a different meaning: a welcoming signal to Irish emigrants, lighting their way back home.


What to say

  • Merry Christmas: Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia
  • Season’s Greetings: Wesołych Świąt

Fun fact: Polish families share a “Christmas wafer” called opłatek before Christmas dinner. As they pass the wafer around the table, everyone forgives each other for the past year’s conflicts.


What to say

Merry Christmas: Boldog karácsonyt
Season’s Greetings: Kellemes ünnepeket kívánunk

Fun fact: Lucky Hungarian children get presents twice: once on 6 December for Saint Nicholas’s Day, and then another round from Baby Jesus on Christmas Day itself.

The Czech Republic

What to say

  • Merry Christmas: Veselé Vánoce!
  • Happy Holidays: Hezké svátky!

Fun facts: Fresh carp is the traditional Christmas dinner in the Czech Republic. The fresher, the better- some families still buy them alive and keep them in the bathtub until it’s time for the oven. Other families purchase a live fish and then release it into the river as an act of Christmas mercy.


What to Say

Merry Christmas: Veselé Vianoce

Fun fact: Slovakians take their Christmas cookies seriously- it’s traditional to bake more than ten different types. Read more

Translation Fails in Animation: 5 Cartoons that Got Lost in Translation 

Around the world, kids (and kids at heart) have a soft spot for cartoons. However, just because animation is usually aimed at children, that doesn’t mean translating it is child’s play. Translation fails in animation can be caused by carelessness or sheer cultural differences.  In some cases, censorship or overly aggressive localization can also leave fans confused or offended.  Here are five cartoon shows that lost something in translation.

Leo the Lion

The New York Times’ Brian Feldman dubbed this feature-length cartoon “Netflix’s Worst Movie.” Now, we’re certainly not blaming the localisation team completely. After all, even the best translator can’t spin straw into gold.  They have to work with the material they’re given.  From the very first scene in Leo the Lion, it’s abundantly clear that you’re not watching fine Italian cinema.

That said, the translation aspect is a mess, too. As Feldman observes, ” the subtitles for the film do not line up at all with what happens in the film. Broadly, the arcs are similar but character names, terminology and jokes are completely different.”

This movie is so bad that there’s a Tumblr devoted to cataloguing its many eccentricities. One Tumblr user observed that not only are the subtitles a completely different script from the dubbed dialogue but the subtitled dialogue also “matches up better with the lips than the current audio.”

Feldman’s theory is that the “subtitles appear to be a more literal translation of the film, its spoken audio track a localisation.”

Our theory: whoever was in charge of localisation threw their hands up in the air and backed away rather than spending time making the subtitles match the dialogue, or the dialogue correspond to the characters’ lip movements.

So, the next time your little darling tells you to put on “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” for the umpteenth time, remember that it could be worse. Much worse. Read more

How We Support You When Things Go Wrong

Everyone loves to laugh at translation fails, but it’s not quite as funny when your business is on the receiving end of the mockery. It’s even less funny when your products are stuck at a border due to translation errors in labelling and documentation, or when poor translation exposes your organisation to liability issues.

To survive and thrive in today’s connected global economy, businesses have to be willing to overcome language barriers. But what happens when your material gets lost in translation? The difference between a disaster and a bump in the road often comes down to a quick and effective response. At K International, we’ve got your back. Here’s how we can support you when something goes wrong.

We provide correct translations and relevant advice.

Obviously, the first step in responding to a translation error or a cross-cultural marketing fail is to correct the mistake.  At K International, we’ll assemble a team of professional linguists, project managers and other experts in relevant fields like compliance and copywriting. Whether the error in question is as simple as having the wrong ingredient listed or as complicated as an advertisement that isn’t delivering the desired message, we’ll get it sorted.

We help you deploy the corrected content quickly.

The next step is to deploy the corrected content. This step will take different forms depending on your industry and the nature of your error. It may be as easy as updating your website. It could be as labour-intensive as re-shooting a video. Or, it could be a logistical nightmare like trying to figure out how to re-label entire shipments of goods destined for foreign markets. Regardless, time is of the essence. Fortunately, our team includes specialists in a wide range of disciplines, from graphic design and desktop publishing to retail compliance. That means we can usually handle all aspects of your project in-house, for greater efficiency and a speedy resolution. Read more

retail compliance

The A to Z of Retail Compliance: A Checklist 

Compliance is one of the most intimidating parts of international retail.  Around the world, retailers are coming under increased regulatory pressure from both governments and consumers. The more regions your business operates in,  the more difficult it is to comply with all of the different regulations. That’s especially true if your business involves potentially hazardous products like food, electronics or products intended for children.

The exact steps to retail compliance will vary depending on what your organisation sells and where you’re selling it.  That said, this checklist provides a generalised set of best practices that can help your retail organisation stay in compliance wherever you do business.

retail compliance checklist

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