Mistranslation - Chocolates and Diabetes

The Chocolates on the Shelves Go Well with the Diabetes Medications Ad

Some signs are considered mistakes; others are mistranslations, while some others are misplaced. To a non-English speaker, this sign may seem like a mistranslation, or it was incorrectly placed by someone who does not understand English.

However, this does not seem to be a mistranslation, as there are no indications that this is in a store in a non-English speaking country. It can be seen as a joke, a gentle reminder, or an ad for free diabetes medicines.

This is, however, culturally relevant. In any country, there are clues, which can be gathered regarding health, finance, culture, and cultural influences. This card is affixed to a plastic holder, which attaches to a shelf. You can put anything to this kind of plastic holder. The picture and the message have multiple layers of meaning. It is humorous, pathetic, and a warning as well.

First off, whoever put this sign in this place knows marketing. He may also be a diabetic himself or possibly related to a diabetic. The sign refers to the in-store pharmacy where they dispense free generic diabetes medications. The sign can be an advert for the pharmacy’s services. At the same time, it can be a gentle reminder for those who suffer from diabetes, not to buy chocolates. The irony leads to the humor of the sign. One significant health data is that in the United States and in most developed countries, the incidence of type-2 diabetes is increasing dramatically.

For a foreigner, or someone who is not a native English-speaker, this can be confusing. Without understanding the context of the health risks for the country, especially the relationship between sweets and the incidence of diabetes, this sign would be perplexing. In most instances, the presence of a sign would be related to the item on the shelf. There is no cause for the supermarket to have a sign for diabetes medication prominently displayed in the chocolate section.

Image credit – 40 Most Bloodcurdling Chinese Mistranslations Ever via seenox.org

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