Lost in translation

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As we head, in the US, at least, into a long, holiday weekend — yes, we celebrate Labor Day in the fall, and not in May like the rest of the world — I’m reminded of a subject that I’ve been meaning to blog about for a while… the linguistic quirks, bloopers, and flat-out mistakes that are probably inevitable for a company that’s headquartered in France.

A few years ago, one of our readers noticed that Herbin’s ink packaging instructs English-speakers to “rince” and not “rinse” their fountain pens. Soon thereafter, Paulien pointed out, that the UK version of the Space 24 misspelled the name of her country (“I don’t live in The Netherland,” she wrote).

Karen has also told me some amusing lost-in-translation style anecdotes about American and British English (using “rubber” instead of “eraser” in product catalogs, for instance, and “Maxi Pad” to describe for a large Rhodia pad.)

At any rate, the arc of our corporate universe is long, but it bends toward linguistic justice, so if you notice something odd in our product literature or in our products themselves, please let us know!

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