<br /><br />IKEA’s language translations are just too sexual and raunchy for Thailand<br /><br />
The Swedish furniture giants translations for some of its product names have caused quite a stir for Thai customers, sounding just a bit too close to sexual slang.
Last March we reported on the top ten language translation errors made by major companies around the world. Well, it's safe to say that the translations made by IKEA for some of the products sold at its newly opened superstore in Bangkok certainly qualify for a place on that list.
According to The Wall Street Journal, IKEA came very close to selling furniture products named after sexual acts. Talk about really getting lost in translation!
Here's one example. IKEA's Redalen bed is named after a Norwegian town. But in Thai, Redalen resembles a Thai word for to getting to third base (sexually). Now some might think this was part of a subliminal marketing campaign to sell more of these beds. But all indications are that the blunder was not intentional.
Then there's Jättebra, the name of an IKEA plant pot, which resembles a crude slang term for sex in the Thai language. Oops!
"The Swedish...words are important because they bring a unique character to the brand," IKEA team member Natthita Opaspipat told the WSJ.
"We've got to be careful," Opaspipat said. "Some of them can be, well, a little rude."