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September 20, 2010

Beer brands scorned for poor English-to-Spanish ad translations

By David Kiefaber on Mon Sep 20 2010

Corona

As incomprehensible as a lot of beer ads are in English, they are apparently even worse when translated into Spanish. Michenelle Groller, a Brooklyn Spanish teacher, joined other Spanish speakers in calling out beer advertisers in this New York Post story for poor translation and general ignorance of the Latino consumer. Groller says badly translated ads are "not only misleading, but mostly offensive," adding that "if they were written in English, they would have never made it past the planning stages." Specific complaints are directed toward Budweiser (whose "Tomabilidad" isn't a real word), Coors Light (whose "Emborícuate" has the same problem), and Corona, which invites drinkers to "Más una fría que beer," which literally translates to "More one cold what beer." Given that Corona is headquartered in Mexico, that one's hard to excuse. This just looks bad for all companies involved. How expensive can a few competent translators be? Considering how much has been said about the growing Latino consumer base and the need for consistent outreach, one would think they'd try harder to not screw it up. Maybe their creatives have been skimming from the vats a little too much.

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