The Secret to Getting More Customers – The Amazon Way

The Secret to Getting More Customers – The Amazon Way

If you follow our Twitter account (which you can find here), you might have seen recently that Amazon has decided to start translating it’s local website and app into Hindi. This is one of the biggest languages in the world and so it’s almost mind-boggling that Amazon haven’t been using this language at all up until now.

 

 

This is made even more staggering by the fact that this morning I heard on the news that Amazon are now only the second company in history to reach a worth of 1 TRILLION dollars! It’s an absolutely incredible achievement for a company that started in a garage back in 1994. They have 14 local websites, with the Dutch, Polish and Turkish languages being added to the German website back in 2016.

 

Don’t miss an opportunity! See what the ‘big boys’ do….

 

One of the local websites which should reach the most people is their Indian site. There are 1,3 billion people in India, so it’s an absolutely huge market. However, in having their India website in English only, Amazon were only reaching 10% of the Indian population. Different sources state different numbers of speakers, but by adding Hindi to their list of languages, they may be able to reach up to 500 million (yes, half a BILLION!) potential new customers. Although the figures vary, it’s definitely one of the top 5 spoken languages in the world, along with Chinese, Spanish, English and Arabic.

It’s incredible that Amazon have reached where they are today, but just think of the extra revenue they will receive when opening up to this many new potential customers.

So one of the world’s biggest companies earns a lot of money – what’s that got to do with me?

Every company has to start somewhere – it’s how that company expands that determines how successful it can be. Surely it’s just common sense that the more potential customers a company can reach, the more sales they will make, thus giving said company much more chance of expanding successfully.

So how can you reach more customers? Speak their language! As much as we’d like to think that the whole world speaks English, the truth is that it’s simply not the case. Of course English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, but the truth is that Spanish and especially Chinese, have more native speakers then English. Many people will also speak English as a foreign language, but would you prefer to buy something in your own language or a foreign language? Using Hindi as an example again, yes it’s true that there are around 125 million people in India who are able to speak English (although only approximately 230,000 of these are native speakers). This sounds a lot, but when you consider that it’s only 10% of the Indian population, you can suddenly see how much more scope for growth there is in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

We’ve managed to help so many businesses expand to new areas and new customers, and we can do the same for you! Check out our website and see how we can help you fulfil the potential of your business!

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German words used in English

Whilst analysing or comparing one’s own language with a foreign language, many people find it helpful to look for words that are well-known or similar to their own language. This stems from the fact that most languages have evolved from Latin. Latin is the mother of almost all languages worldwide, so it is not surprising that it has left marks on individual words. This article does not deal with Latin roots in English, but with German words applied in English.

It is surprising how many German words are known and used in foreign languages (not only in English), and there are various reasons that other languages adopt them. One such reason might be that in a particular language there is no true equivalent word and thus a translation is not possible. Another reason might be that the word is specific to the region where it is from and therefore expresses the original background meaning.

The following are some loan German words used in English. The list below is only a short summary of the most popular words.

Food & Drink

Sport

Dogs

Others

Bratwurst

Foosball

Dachshund

ABS

Brezel

Karabiner

Dobermann

Achtung

Hamburger

Rucksack

Rottweiler

Angst

Hefeweizen

Volkswanderung

Schnauzer

Bauhaus

Frankfurter

Wanderlust

Doppelganger

Muesli

Dummkopf

Pilsner

Hausfrau

Quark

Hamster

(Sauer)Kraut

Kaput(t)

Schnitzel

Kindergarten

Waldmeister

Oktoberfest

Wiener (wurst)

Poltergeist

Weltanschauung

Zeitgeist

Walzer

Wunderbar

to Yodel

On the other hand, sometimes it also happens that a language uses words from a foreign language, but misunderstands the correct meaning, as the following examples show.

“English” words in German

The term Bodybag is used in German language for describing a bag carried close to the body. A small difference to the English meaning of body bag, which is a bag used for dead bodies. Another term, Handy, is used to mean a cell phone by German people, who are unaware that it does not mean the same in English. The last example is the term Mobbing which in German expresses bullying. For a longer list of anglicisms in German click here. The amount may surprise you!

All together it has to be said that is important to know the exact meaning of a word before using a foreign term. However, the best option is to use words from one’s own language (if possible) and to try not to use foreign language words, even if the correct meaning is not known.

Do you know any other German words used in English? Or can you add anything to what I have mentioned here… I am looking forward to reading your comments! Alternitavely, if you’re looking for more information about our German language services then click here.

Food & Drink

Sport

Dogs

Others

Bratwurst

Foosball

Dachshund

ABS

Brezel

Karabiner

Dobermann

Achtung

Hamburger

Rucksack

Rottweiler

Angst

Hefeweizen

Volkswanderung

Schnauzer

Bauhaus

Frankfurter

Wanderlust

Doppelganger

Muesli

Dummkopf

Pilsener

Hausfrau

Quark

Hamster

(Sauer)Kraut

Kaput(t)

Schnitzel

Kindergarten

Waldmeister

Oktoberfest

Wiener(wurst)

Poltergeist

Weltanschauung

Zeitgeist

Walzer

Wunderbar

to Yodel

 

Branding Cockups

We all love a good laugh and branding cockups don’t ever fail to deliver. I bet the new brand decision makers for these well-known brand names most certainly weren’t too happy – but it’s great entertainment for us. Who in their right mind would name their company ‘F***ing Hell’ – I kid you not. Read on to find out about that and many other hilarious branding cock-ups.

Baniff translated a slogan claiming finely upholstered seats “Fly in Leather”. When this was translated into Spanish it comes out as “Fly Naked.”Clairol

Clairol marketed a curling iron as “Mist Stick”. Unfortunately “mist” in German is a slang word for manure.

When Colgate launched a product in France it decided upon the name brand name “Cue”. Unfortunately if they had done their market research they would have realised that “Cue” is also the name of a French pornographic magazine. This must have caused confusion for customers shopping in the supermarket when asking for Cue to brush their teeth with.

The well known American beer brand Coors suffered an unfortunate mishap when it launched it’s product in Spain. Their marketing team chose the slogan “turn it loose” which in Spain is a colloquial term for diarrhoea.

World famous vacuum cleaner manufacturer Electrolux chose the slogan “Nothing suck like an Electrolux” when they launched their product in America. Of course sucks is a reference in American slang that means bad or poor. Of course this is also considered and urban legend of translation but would still be funny if it were true!

Ford launched a car in Brazil called the Ford Pinto. Unfortunately in Brazillian Portuguese Pinto also means “tiny male genitals”

American meat processing and poultry farming company Perdue Farms used the slogan “it takes a tough man to make tender chicken” to try and appeal to some of the masculine male customers in Spain. However when this slogan is translated into Spanish it comes through as “It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate”.

Everyone knows Ikea right? Ikea is a world recognised furniture store that began in Sweden. However when they launched in Thailand they didn’t realise that some of their Swedish names mean “sex” or “third base” in Thai. Also in China Ikea’s Chinese website advertised a stuffed wolf toy called Lufsig, or Lo Mo Sai (路姆西). This unfortunately contained a homophobe of Hai (閪), a profane Cantonese word meaning “vagina”. The name itself could be written as Lo Mo Hai (老母閪) which means “mothers Vagina”.

Fast food restaurant chain KFC made some Chinese customers feel uncomfortable or just confused with their slogan “finger licking good”. When the restaurant chain launched in China their slogan translated to “eat your fingers off”.

Mercedes Benz launched in China under the brand name “Bensi”. Which in China means “rush to die”.

Sportswear manufacturer Nike was forced to recall thousands of it’s products when the design on some of it’s products was deemed too similar to the Arabic word for Allah.

Electrical giant Panasonic launched a new web ready PC using a Woody Woodpecker theme. Not too bad in itself except the slogan they used was “Touch Woody : The Internet Ready Pecker”.

The makers of premium pens Parker Pens launched in Mexico using it’s slogan “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you”. Unfortunately this was mistranslated as “It won’t leak in your product and make you pregnant.

Iranian consumer goods company Paxam marketed it laundry soap using the Farsi word for “snow”. This resulted in packaging been labelled as “Barf Soap”.

American branded Puffs Facial Tissues, from Procter and Gamble, entered into the German market. Unfortunately they didn’t realise that “Puff” is a German slang word for brothel.

The American Dairy Association used it’s slogan “Got Milk?” as it’s slogan in Spanish speaking markets. This was translated as “Are you lactating?”. Bit of a personal question don’t you think?

Procter and Gamble brand Vicks moved into the German market with it’s cough drops. In German the pronunciation of “V” is actually “F” which made “Vick” slang for sexual intercourse in Germany.

When the name of the Toyota MR2 is pronounced in French it is phonetically similar to “mede” in French, which is their word for “shit”.

Motoring manufacturer Mitsubishi found that their Pajero product name as the same as the Spanish word for “wanker” when they launched in Spain.

Japanese motor company Honda initially launched their Honda Jazz as the Honda Fitta. However when their marketing team contacted their Swedish office with the name they found out that Fitta is a slang word for “vagina” in Swedish and Norwegian. They promptly decided on the Jazz although Japan kept the “Fit” brand for it’s home market.

I know what your thinking. How rude. How profane. However Fucking Hell is the name of a German Pilsner beer brewed in Germany. When they launched the brand in 2010 they upset the European Union due to the nature of the word and it’s expletive nature in the English language. However the brand name refers to an actual town in Austria which is in fact called Fucking whereas as Hell in Germany refers to pale lager. They launched an appeal against the original EU decision to disallow this name and they won.

 

Below is a short list of some actual products that are available on sale in various countries. Are they marketing mistakes or are they genius in advertising? Decide for yourselves!

  • Crapsy Fruit, a French breakfast cereal
  • Alu-Fanny, a French aluminium foil

  • Atum Bom, a Portuguese brand of tinned tuna

  • Kack, Danish confectionery

  • Plopp, a Swedish chocolate bar

  • Mukk, an Italian yogurt

  • Bimbo, a brand of bread in Spain and the Americas

  • Slag, a Belgian lager

  • Kum Onit, a German make of pencil sharpeners

  • Pschitt, a French fizzy soft drink

Food for thought

 

How much do you think the ‘cock-ups’ cost each company? Get in touch with us for professional translations, that are localised and right on the mark – every time!

Do you know how many different languages Ed Sheeran has sung in?

Ed Sheeran | Lingua Translations 1200x979 It’s no secret that Ed Sheeran wrote his latest album while travelling the world and soaking up different cultures and styles of music. But he went further than that. He also isn’t afraid to delve into the world of languages either. What’s most impressive is his commitment to getting the foreign lyrics and their pronunciation spot on, and he has previously said he would only sing in other languages if he could do it properly.

However, it’s not just on his latest album that he tries his hand at other languages, but in songs recorded before and after too. Take a look below!

Twi – “Boa Me” & “Bibia Be Ye Ye”

Last year Ed teamed up with Highlife and Afrobeats artist Fuse ODG to create a new track called “Boa Me”, where Sheeran sings the entire chorus in flawless Twi – a dialect from Ghana. The song was actually written at Fuse ODG’s house in Ghana with his friends, and Ed has described it as “probably the most fun I’ve had writing a song”. The song peaked at #52 in the UK charts. While it didn’t reach the top 40, this upbeat track is definitely worth a listen!

This actually isn’t even the first time that the Twi language has featured on an Ed Sheeran track! The song/lyrics “Bibia be ye ye” from the Deluxe version of his latest album ÷ (Divide), is also Twi, and means “all will be well”. Fuse ODG was also involved in the writing of this song which peaked at #18 on the UK chart.

Spanish – “Barcelona”

“Barcelona” is another song which appears on the Deluxe version of ÷ (Divide), and this time Ed takes on Spanish at the end of the song which includes the following lyrics:

Mi niña, te amo mi cariñoLingua Translations 900x532

Mamacita, rica

Sí tú, te adoro, señorita

Los otros, viva la vida

Siempre vida, Barcelona

In case you’re wondering, “Mamacita” roughly translates as “hot mama”!

This is another feel-good song which tries to incorporate the atmosphere in this amazing city. It charted at #12 in the UK charts.

Italian – Perfect Symphony

Spanish isn’t the only language from mainland Europe that Ed sings in! After the incredible success of “Perfect” (initially debuting at #4, before climbing to #3), and then “Perfect Duet” with Beyoncé which propelled the song to #1 in the charts, Sheeran collaborated with Italian legend Andrea Bocelli to create a more operatic version, known as “Perfect Symphony”. Bocelli translated part of the song into Italian but it’s not just him who sings the Italian, with Ed also joining in. Incidentally this is also the first song in which Ed collaborated with his brother Matthew, himself a classical composer, and whose string section appears on both this and the original version.

Gaelic – Thinking Out Loud

Ed is clearly in touch with his Irish roots, spending plenty of time across the Irish sea with his family, having some tattoos in Gaelic, and also musically with two Irish-influenced songs “Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan” appearing on ÷. But he went even further back in 2015 by recording a Gaelic translation of one of his biggest hits “Thinking Out Loud”. It was recorded especially to be included on the album CEOL 2016, which was that year’s album from Conradh na Gaeilge (an organisation promoting the Irish language) and their Irish-language radio station Raidió Rí Rá, produced for “Irish week” (Seachtain na Gaeilge), featuring Gaelic tracks from the best Ireland has to offer.

The whole song is translated into, and sung in Gaelic, which I think we’ll all agree is pretty impressive! I’ll leave it up to native Gaelic speakers to let us know how good his pronunciation is, but I’m sure, as with the other songs, he wouldn’t have released it if he wasn’t able to get it right, as is his great professionalism and his respect for other languages and cultures.

Keep up the great work Ed!

International French Fries Day

Today is one of the best day of the year: the international French Fries Day. But let’s find out something about most people’s favourite guilty pleasure.

Apparently, French fries are not French at all. Their origin can be tracked back to Belgium, where potatoes were allegedly being fried in the late-1600s. The legend says that poor villagers in Meuse Valley used to eat small fried fish they caught in the river but, as the river would freeze during winter, they had to find an alternative source of food. When the potato was introduced in the continent, the villagers began preparing the root plant in the same way they used to treat the fish: slicing and frying it. And this is how the earliest “French” fries were born.

So, how come they’re called FRENCH fries? It seems that it’s Americans’ fault. When American soldiers were stationed in Belgium during World War I they were introduced to the fried goodness and, as the official language spoken by the Belgian army was French, they started calling it “French fries”. As most misunderstandings in history, once the name was spread there was no way to correct it. And we still call them “French” after centuries, and will probably keep on doing so for quite a while.

But is this a mistake that only English speakers make? Let’s have a look on how everybody’s favourite side dish is called in different countries.

France/Belgium (French): les pommes frites / les frites

Belgium (Dutch): friet/fritten

China: 薯条 shu tiao (potato stripe or stick)

Czech Republic: hranolky (little prisms)

Denmark: pomfritter

Finland: ranskalaiset perunat (French potatoes) or ranskalaiset (French)

Germany: Pommes / pommesfrites

Greece: τηγανιτές πατάτες tiganites patates

Italy: patatine fritte

Japan: フライドポテト furaido poteto (Fried potatoes)

Korea: 감자 튀김 Gamja twigim

Latin America: papas fritas

Columbia/Mexico: papas a la francesa

Portugal: batatas fritas

Romania: (Belgian) cartofi prajiti

Russia: картофелем фри kartofel’ fri

Sweden: franske kartofler (French potatoes)

The Netherlands (Dutch): patat frites / Vlaamse friet (Flemish fries)

 

 

Iceland – The Land of Ice and Fire

Iceland, the land of ice and fire, counted 350,710 inhabitants in 2016. The crazy thing is that, last summer, Iceland hosted 2 million tourists. Why are there so many people willing to visit this Nordic island? Here are some pieces of information that might interest you.

Iceland has a very rich culture and a breath-taking scenery which appeals to any travel lovers. If you decide to go, expect to remain speechless all along. You’ll see mountains, glaciers (Europe’s largest glacier is in Iceland), rivers, waterfalls, craters, volcanoes, geysers, geothermal areas, hot springs, lagoons, icebergs, black sand beaches and more. What is crazy about visiting Iceland in summer time is that the sky remains bright all-night long. Indeed, the sun rises at around 3am and sets a little bit before midnight, allowing only a few hours of half-darkness. Let’s just say that it can be a bit disturbing… However, if you decide to go in winter time, you are more likely to see amazing northern lights and the land covered with a thick coat of snow. Two completely different worlds!

Iceland’s traditional dishes include lamb, fish and skyr (a yoghurt-like cheese).

If you love animals, you can expect to see sheep and Icelandic horses all around the country. Watch the sheep while driving, they are free! Also, Iceland’s only native mammal is the Arctic Fox.

Lingua Translations 900x532Sport is an important part of Icelandic culture. The main traditional sport in Iceland is Glíma, a form of wrestling. Popular sports are handball, basketball and football. The Icelandic national football team qualified for the 2016 UEFA European football championship for the first time. Thus the 2018 FIFA World Cup is very important to Icelanders (I’ve heard 98% of Icelanders watched the games of their national team). Iceland has excellent conditions for skiing, fishing, snowboarding, ice climbing, rock climbing and hiking. Iceland is also one of the leading countries in ocean rowing, Icelandic rower Fiann Paul became the fastest ocean rower. He has claimed 24 Guinness World Records in total for Iceland. Swimming is also popular in Iceland, as geothermally heated outdoor pools are widespread, and swimming courses are a mandatory at school.

 

I hope you’ve learned a lot by reading this article and that you are already booking your flight to Reykjavic! Besides, one thing that you have to experience at least once in your life is a relaxing moment in the stunning Blue Lagoon.