Found in translation

Synlait Milk might not be able to use its own name in China because another company has already registered that name for a trademark in products including rat poison and baby food.

Quite why a company dealing in any type of food would also deal in rat poison and then have them under the same trademark seems bizarre.

However, that being the case, Synlait Milk would be wise to find another name for China.

This isn’t the first time a business has found its name already in other countries and other companies have had problems with names when an innocent word in one language has been found to have a very different meaning in translation.

Nova, for example, as a name for a car is fine in English, suggesting something new. But in Spanish no va means it doesn’t go.

I learned my first swear word in Spanish when a young Argentinean visitor went into hysterics when she saw a pajero in a car park. No-one who speaks Spanish would want to drive a or be associated with anything with that name.

Mental Floss has a list of 11 other products in which unfortunate meanings are found in translation.

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