The last one is my favourite The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax” depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, “ko-kou-ko-le,” which can be loosely translated as “happiness in the mouth.” In Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” came out as “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead.” Also in Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan “finger-lickin’ good” came out as “eat your fingers off.” When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that “no va” means “it won’t go.” After the company figured out why it wasn’t selling any cars, it renamed the car in its Spanish markets to the Caribe. Ford had a similar problem in Brazil when the Pinto flopped. The company found out that Pinto was Brazilian slang for “tiny male genitals”. Ford pried all the nameplates off and substituted Corcel, which means horse. When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” However, the company mistakenly thought the spanish word “embarazar” meant embarrass. Instead the ads said that “It wont leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.” An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of the desired “I Saw the Pope” in Spanish, the shirts proclaimed “I Saw the Potato.” Chicken-man Frank Perdue’s slogan, “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken,” got terribly mangled in another Spanish translation. A photo of Perdue with one of his birds appeared on billboards all over Mexico with a caption that explained “It takes a hard man to make a chicken aroused.” Hunt-Wesson introduced its Big John products in French Canada as Gros Jos before finding out that the phrase, in slang, means “big breasts.” In this case, however, the name problem did not have a noticeable effect on sales. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno mag. In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into Schweppes Toilet Water. In a Bucharest hotel lobby: The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable. In a Leipzig elevator: Do not enter the lift backwards, and only when lit up. In a Belgrade hotel elevator: To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order. In a Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the front desk. In a hotel in Athens: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m. daily. In a Yugoslavian hotel: The flattening of your underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid. In a Japanese hotel: You are welcome to take advantage of the chambermaid. In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery: You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday. In an Austrian hotel catering to skiers: Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension. On the menu of a Swiss restaurant: Our wines leave you nothing to hope for. On the menu of a Polish hotel: Salad a firm’s own make; limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rashers beaten up in the country people’s fashion. In a Bangkok dry cleaner’s: Drop your trousers here for best results. In a Rhodes tailor shop: Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation. In a Vienna hotel: In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter. A sign posted in Germany’s Black Forest: It is strictly forbidden on our Black Forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose. In a Zurich hotel: Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose. In a Rome laundry: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time. Advertisement for donkey rides in Thailand: Would you like to ride on your own ass? In a Swiss mountain inn: Special today - no ice cream. In a Tokyo bar: Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts. In a Copenhagen airline ticket office: We take your bags and send them in all directions. On the door of a Moscow hotel room: If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it. In a Norwegian cocktail lounge: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar. At a Budapest zoo: Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty. In the office of a Roman doctor: Specialist in women and other diseases. In an Acapulco hotel: The manager has personally passed all the water served here. From a Japonese information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner: Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself. From a brochure of a car rental firm in Tokyo: When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.