Product packaging is often translated into languages such as English, which is the lingua franca in a variety of countries, to target a larger market and increase sales. However, something tells me that the marketing strategy didn’t quite succeed in this case, as I cannot think of anyone who would like a spoonful of Grandma. (Except for Hannibal Lecter, of course.)
This homemade jam obviously fell victim to a mistranslation, whereby a very important “s” is missing. If you are an English speaker, you will already know that the correct translation should have been: “Tastes like Grandma’s.” With an accurate translation, easily provided by a qualified language professional, the advertisement fulfils the marketer’s original intent: this product is just as good as your grandmother’s delicious homemade jam.
Day Translations’ linguistic experts explained that the apostrophe and “s”—considered together—is an example of a genitive, or possessive, case. The apostrophe and “s” are added to show possession and the case completely changes the meaning of the phrase “Tastes like Grandma.”
Mistranslations are typically a consequence of substandard linguistic skills, hasty proofreading and inattentive editing. At Day Translations, we always work in teams to ensure the production of top-quality translations—a translation does not leave our offices unless its excellence is indisputable and this is non-negotiable. We stand alongside our continually developing translation process with pride, as it guarantees the absence of avoidable mistakes, such as the one in the image above.
Can you share any other food-product mistranslations with us? Language is our passion, so we are always on the lookout for mistranslations, but we know that they can be found throughout the world, and we would love to read about it. Our comment section below is an open invitation, so please feel free to show us what you found!
Image credit: “18 Food Products that Have Translated Poorly Into English,” from Amplifying Glass.