By Patricia Rey-Mallen, Apr 10, 2013 12:52 PM EDT
(PHOTO CREDIT: Screenshot/Target.com) Target was advertising three sandals under the label "Orina," which in Spanish means "urine."
Target does not seem to get it straight these days. After the epic fail with the "Manatee Gray" dress, the marketing department made another faux pas when they branded three sandals with the name "Orina" - not realizing that the word translates as "urine" in Spanish.
The shoes have been on sale at Target stores and on Target.com since February, but recently have started changing the labels, due to the large percentage of Spanish-speakers that shop at the chain store.
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Target says they chose the name for the shoes based on the Russian translation of the word, which is "peace" or "peaceful," which is used as a woman's name. They realize the Spanish translation about a week ago, said Jessica DeeDee, a spokesperson for Target.
"Realizing this name could be misinterpreted, we are taking steps to remove the name from the sandal," DeeDee told the Huffington Post.
Target is not the first company to sell a product with a name that does not translate well. Here are three other famous lost in translation ads:
1. Ikea and Thai saucy words
The Swedish furniture store is known for its tongue-twisting Scandinavian-inspired names. But as the retailer expands into new markets, they might need to readjust their brand: when Ikea opened their first store in Thailand, they came to the realization that many of their brands translated into dirty words in Thai. The bed "Redalen," for example, means something like "getting to third base," whereas the "Jatterbra" plant pot stands for a crude word for sex. After many a customer blushed in the Bangkok stores, Ikea hired a team of Thai speakers to modify the terms and make them Thai family-friendly.
2. Kraft and the Russian market
When food giant Kraft went international, they chose a word deemed to be easy to pronounce in any language: Mondelez International. The brand says that they chose the word to convey trans-frontier deliciousness ("monde" is world in French, and delez, is a play in "delish"), and it just might... except in Russia, where it means "oral sex." Kraft insists that they tested the new name extensively, and that outside of Russia it's mostly harmless.
3. Mitsubishi Jeep Pajero and the Spanish insult
Car names usually have problems - General Motors probably still remembers the fiasco of their Chevy Nova in Latin America, where "nova" means "it doesn't go." Needless to say, the car was not a best seller. Another brand that struggled with their translation is Mitsubishi Jeep, whose model "Pajero" translates as "masturbator" in Spain. But besides inducing a few giggles from teenagers, the car is widely sold all over the world - including Spain.