Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Translation error makes Audi look racist

What difference do two words make? A lot, especially if you work in the PR department at Audi. Thanks to a recent translation error, the automobile maker advertised its Audi RS6 V10 biturbo as a bit more racist than racy. Having translated the original German model name as "White Power," the manufacturer quickly apologized, blaming a non-native English speaking PR department for the error.

"Due to a mistranslation of our latest project car - the Audi RS6 V10 biturbo - there were lots of radical right-wing rumors on all different blogs and pages that received our first press report. We distance ourselves from the project title - it was done by our press agency which obviously mistranslated our German project name into English. Furthermore we distance ourselves from anything that has to do with that group synonym and we would also like to say sorry if anyone got personally touched."

Now I'll be honest here and say that I own a translation company, but I don't think you have to have a vested interest to see the clear logic behind hiring professional translators to perform your translations. Translators translate and press agencies handle press, which I'm sure Audi has received a lot of since their error.

And that's my two cents on Audi's two words.


artsdesireglass said...

Wow - you think they'd at least run it by some of their dealerships in the US first to catch any glaring offenses like that!

Terena Bell - In Every Language said...

Yeah, you would definitely think!