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Monday, February 23, 2004

How sweet it is

Ok...I'm back from my little political rant. The sun came up this morning (for most of us, anyway) and I’m back from the edge. For those of you who weathered the storm and are still here, I thank you. For those of you who actually read the article, I hope it offered a fresh perspective...perhaps one that you hadn’t considered before.

Just so you don't think my world is all politics and bombs, I'd like to share a little something with you that caught my eye as I stood in a supermarket check-out line.

To fully appreciate the humor here, it is important for you to understand a few things about Israeli pop culture. Clothing, music, advertising, television - in fact, just about everything in the public domain – leave little to the imagination. In fact, Israeli’s seem to take pride in embracing the most explicit European trends. Television and advertising feature lots of skin and overtly sexual themes, and even print media is often very risqué. However, for a newcomer like me, the real entertainment consists of finding inadvertent double entendres in unlikely places.

I'm sure you’ve all seen the lists of badly translated signs and product names from places like Japan and Brazil that have made the e-mail rounds. You know, the ones where they try to use some English idiom in a product name and completely botch it? Or, where they attempt to translate a useful phrase into English, but get it just wrong enough to nudge the meaning into the realm of comedy?

Some examples from Transperfect Translations:

"Drop your pants here for best results."-sign at a dry cleaning store in Tokyo

"Ladies may have a fit upstairs."-sign at a dry cleaning store in Bangkok

"Please leave your values at the front desk."-sign in a hotel in Paris.

"Teeth extracted by latest methodists."-sign in Hong Kong dentist's office.

"Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time."-sign in a Rome laundry.

"Our wines leave you nothing to hope for."-on the menu of a Swiss restaurant

"Specialist in women and other diseases."-doctor's office in Rome

Well, I promise you that the chocolate bar I have photographed below is the genuine article. It consists of four basketball-shaped sections (the source of its name), and is actually quite tasty.

Now, I'm assuming that the person who came up with the product name was either;

a) not a native English speaker;


b) a man.

A third possibility is that this was done intentionally by some marketing genius as a teaser campaign. I mean, think about it…if this is just the appetizer, what the hell are they going to do for the main course?! I'll put in my order right now!!!

Ladies and gentlemen…I give you:


Posted by David Bogner on February 23, 2004 | Permalink


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