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April 13, 2013

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I just have to tell you about how they had to modify some US products for sale in Italy. The first is a person: Fess Parker of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone fame is not called "Fess" in Italy. "Fess" in Italian dialects means "dummy or sucker".

Salem cigarettes are called "Reynos" in Italy since "salem" is Latin for salt.

When I was there in 1967 they were heavily advertising a soap bar called "Fairy". It was a source of much amusement with me and my American friends.

Just tried Google Translate, entering Orina. Google came back with "Spanish - detected", and gave the translation as urine.

So, at least for this one, you don't even have to guess at what language to check.

And how do they explain how they got "Orina" from "Irene"? In Modern Greek Irene is still a perfectly good name, and they pronounce it ee-REE-nee as far as I know. In Ancient Greek it would have been ay-REE-nay. But Orina?

This reminds me of Biggby Coffee. The company had started business in 1995 as Beaners Coffee with a single store in East Lansing, Michigan. Meant to celebrate coffee beans the name also referenced a derogatory slur on Mexican Americans. It was clear that the name had to change. To voluntarily re-brand a company that had grown to include over 133 franchises took courage.

The outcome? They changed the name, and the company continues to grow and expand; no longer held back by a name with unintended meanings.

Thanks for the mention, Nancy!

*groan*
Honestly, sometimes it seems as if they not only believe there are no Spanish speakers in the Bay Area, there's the belief that they know no grammar - I can't tell you the number of "el" somethings that should be "la." Moral: If you're going to use a language, USE IT GRAMMATICALLY. Amazingly, the same goes for English. Or Greek...

I noticed a bar of soap on the shelf at our local supermarket, and did a double-take: the brand name is "Placenta".

Yes, it's true that (http://placentasoap.org/) "The placenta soap’s main ingredient came from plant placenta which is in the buds of different types of herbs."

However, I suspect that a fair number of people who look at the name on the label will have a reaction that will not be overcome by visiting the manufacturer's website.

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