Thanks to social media, businesses, brands, and celebrities can now easily communicate with followers all over the world. But sometimes, their posts get lost in translation. Need some examples? Here are four cringe-worthy social media translation fails.
These unfortunate incidents demonstrate why knowledgeable translation help is essential for communicating with a global audience.
Maki-san and the Cursed Sushi
In 2017, Singapore-based sushi chain Maki-san released a special sushi roll called the “Maki Kita” to commemorate Singapore’s National Day. The first two words of Singapore’s national anthem are “Mari kita.” So, the product name is obviously meant to be a play on words. Unfortunately, changing that “r” to a “k” had a major impact on the meaning in Malay. “Maki kita” means “curse us.”
Can you blame the restaurant’s fans for doing just that? The Instagram post was removed, but Mothership got screenshots. It looks like it was a rough day for whoever was managing the brand’s social media accounts.
But they really should have checked the translation. Malay is one of Singapore’s four official languages. 13% of the Singaporean population speaks it home.
Probably the best comment came from Instagram user Zaimondok, who wrote:
@rollwithmakisan this is why you need a diverse team. And in the office working on strategy not just the service staff so you can get halal certificates.
Ouch, but . . . He’s right, you know. At least about the need for a diverse marketing strategy team or some translation help. Read more