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Nike's Chinese Translation just got screwed!

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  • Nike's Chinese Translation just got screwed!

    While reading the blog of the Chinese Marketing Monitor - Tian, I came across this :

    Nike Basketball's latest ad campaign to promote their basketball shoes featuring Lebron James has made some interesting mistakes.

    I am sure Nike has plenty of well paid language experts working on this "trans-cultural" promotion, but some details have slipped away under their eyes.

    When I first read the slogan in the image above, it said "extinguish fire but with base". After I read it over several times more, then I realized it was meant to say "extinguish fire from the base", not "with the base".

    Frankly, it sounded like an ad for antifungal medication.
    Very interesting indeed...

  • #2
    Talking about the symbols in the background? Do the chinese people really feel those are important or is it just this one critic?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Wayne Luke
      Talking about the symbols in the background? Do the chinese people really feel those are important or is it just this one critic?
      Hmm... we need some Chinese to answer that :P But, i doubt that anyone would appreciate it if you talk to them in wrong language!

      Well, Nike is obviously targeting the young people in there and most of them try to associate themselves with the western culture. Pretty sure that they would certainly not appreciate you saying wrong slogans :P

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      • #4
        The largest chinese dictionary has over 5,800 characters / words in it. A well educated person will know between 1700 - 1800 characters. I can see how some mix ups can occur.
        Final Fantasy

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pulsetoday
          Hmm... we need some Chinese to answer that :P But, i doubt that anyone would appreciate it if you talk to them in wrong language!

          Well, Nike is obviously targeting the young people in there and most of them try to associate themselves with the western culture. Pretty sure that they would certainly not appreciate you saying wrong slogans :P
          Well that is what I am trying to get at here. If it is a slogan then it should be the symbols on the right. If it is filler as the circle can suggest then it would not be as important. It would be the same way as if an American ad had filler from "A Tale of Two Cities" behind it but they misquoted a couple of lines.

          Not saying it isn't important that they try and get it right but filler is not a crucial as the actual slogan.

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          • #6
            Seems Nike needs to work on international relations all around.

            http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...ngapore_nike_1

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            • #7
              They released an ad here in Australia that showed a bunch of very young girls all swooning over their tennis coach. The problem with that was, the week before they released the ad a semi-high profile tennis coach was jailed for having *** with one of his under-age female pupils.

              Really really bad timing on the part of Nike. The ad lasted 2 days before being taken off air.

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              • #8
                While that is bad timing, it can't be held against Nike. It takes companies six months or more to develop ad campaigns. They probably had purchased the air time long before the problem occured.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wayne Luke
                  Seems Nike needs to work on international relations all around.

                  http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...ngapore_nike_1
                  50 complaints!!! Aren't these people just being paranoid? Well, it was just an ad that resembled graffiti and not real graffiti :P

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wayne Luke
                    While that is bad timing, it can't be held against Nike. It takes companies six months or more to develop ad campaigns. They probably had purchased the air time long before the problem occured.
                    True. But they could have delayed it and run their old creatives. Not only did they have to take it off completely but also generated negative PR cos of it.

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                    • #11
                      They also got in trouble in Middle Eastern companies when they sold their "Air" brand of shoes with an insignia on the back that apparently looked like the Arabic writing for "Allah" even though it was a stylized version of "Air". I read about it in a magazine awhile back, and they showed the two words side by side.. amazingly similar.
                      Sherice Jacob - Media Maven
                      Websites - Mascots - Slogans

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                      • #12
                        Re: Nike's Chinese Translation just got screwed!

                        As per the chinese that are recommended in their background. But it doesnt make any sence to that. It is actually their unique way of presentation.
                        service de traduction

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                        • #13
                          Re: Nike's Chinese Translation just got screwed!

                          Translating the Chinese language in any language can be a difficult task, and the translating Chinese to English is no different and perhaps more difficult than other languages​​.
                          proofreading

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