Saturday, February 13, 2010

English Sells

This ad campaign for Diesel has already come and gone. But I'm posting it here since it's a vivid example of the requirement in France that all foreign language advertising (and to be blunt, this is mostly a campaign against the encroachment of English) include a translation into French. Down there in the lower left corner of the panel, you can just make out the translation "soyez stupides." (If you can't see it clearly, just click on the picture to make it bigger.)

And here's another one:

The French are fighting an uphill battle here but so be it. Obviously, the marketers think that English sells although to my mind, the translations can be a bit comical. Take this offering from McDonald's:

One of my kids noted, "I guess they know what 'ranch' means." Or perhaps it's just impossible to translate.


jonnifer said...

That Diesel campaign made me cringe! It's funny that they translated it as, "Soyez stupides !" with an exclamation mark. It makes it seem sillier than the self-important English text.

David said...

Yes, we can dedicate the Diesel campaign to Jacques Toubon.

And ranch is a French word (I know, it's an English word, but it's been part of the French language for long enough) while wrap is not.

But yes, it underlines the stupidity of this law. Maybe one day, politicians, lawmakers, (and worse) academicians and some other intellectuals will understand how languages work and evolve and they all shut up...
Yes, I'm an hopeless optimistic.

PigletinFrance said...

... and how about when proper grown ups wear t-shirts with stupid things written on them like "my boobs are big"?

Starman said...

Oh, David beat me to it.

Virginia said...

Sauce ranch cracked me up when I was there last month. Trust me, McDonald's may have a different menu in Paris but it's no better and pricey to boot. And WHY exact pretty great food? It's a puzzle pour moi!

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