Bicycle Diaries: You say <i>potato</i>...

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You say potato...

I say patatoe

I've been in DC over the last few days. I was meeting with the organization for which I'm now working. During a short break I headed over to Cosi to get an espresso. They're marketing a new drink, kefir. I was more than a bit surprised because it is very close to khafir; Arabic (كافر) for infidel.

It's also the most insulting word racist Afrikaners can use to refer to blacks in South Africa. YIKES ... I thought here was yet another example of an American corporation using an exotic, foreign word without knowing what it actually means.

The iconic example is the old Chevy Nova. It bombed in Spain and much of Latin America because it means no go in Spanish. It's a wonderful, yet frustrating, illustration of American arrogance. Why learn foreign languages when everyone should be speaking English?

Unfortunately, I'm the arrogant one this time. kefir a traditional Turkish yogurt drink. And in both that language as well as Arabic there's a big, big difference between the K and Kh sounds. Ooops %)

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Blogger Fritz said...

Yeah, and Fiat means "Fix it again, Tom!" and Pemex in Mexico must be run by the same geniuses from Detroit, because "Nova" is what they called their leaded gasoline.

It's not too difficult to believe that the one-time world's largest automaker could handle marketing outside the USA.

2/2/07 12:20  

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