add Naomi OsakaNew company in Marketing Blunders Hall of Fame.
The tennis star announced earlier this week that he has partnered with the Los Angeles Lakers lebron jamesSpringhill will start a media company. He hoped that it would produce TV shows, documentaries and branded content.
The name of the new venture, Osaka said, was Hana Kuma, which he claimed means “flower bearer” in Japanese.
It didn’t take long for the Japanese-Haitian Osaka to discover that it has another meaning in Swahili, where it is translated as “woman without a vagina”. An estimated 200 million people speak Swahili, the majority in East Africa.
Dozens of Twitter users in Africa urged Osaka to reconsider the name, which many called offensive.
Osaka’s enterprise isn’t the first company to make such a reduction in translation error.
One of the most famous was chicken maker Frank Perdue, whose slogan in English was, “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.” However, translated into Spanish, the phrase became, “A rooster needs an agitated person to be affectionate.”
Coors once coined his slogan as “Take it loose”, which in Spanish means, “Suffer from diarrhea.” And when Coca-Cola entered China, it was only after thousands of signs appeared that the company’s name was rendered as Ke-co-ke-la, which the locals took to mean, “wax tadpole.” Bite,” or “Female horse full of wax.”
Rival Pepsi did no better in Taiwan. Its slogan, “Come Alive with the Pepsi Generation”, appeared as “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead.”