Facebook’s announcement that it is changing its name to Meta has caused quite the stir in Israel where the word sounds like that for “dead”.
To be precise, Meta is pronounced like the feminine form of the Hebrew word.
A number of people have taken to Twitter to share their take on the name under the hashtag #FacebookDead.
The emergency rescue volunteers Zaka even got involved, telling their followers on Twitter: “Don’t worry, we’re on it”.
In Hebrew, *Meta* means *Dead*
The Jewish community will ridicule this name for years to come.
— Nirit Weiss-Blatt, PhD (@DrTechlash) October 28, 2021
Another Twitter user said: “Thank you for providing all Hebrew speakers a good reason to laugh.”
Facebook isn’t the only company to be ridiculed over translations of its branding.
Here are a few examples of when things got lost in translation.
‘Eat your fingers off’
When KFC arrived in China during the 80s, its motto “finger lickin’ good” didn’t exactly go down well with the locals.
The motto’s translation in Mandarin was “eat your fingers off”.
But it didn’t harm the company too much. KFC is one of the largest fast food chains in the country.
Rolls-Royce changed the name of its Silver Mist car as mist translates as “excrement” in German.
The car was named Silver Shadow instead.
Meanwhile when Nokia released its Lumia phone in 2011, it didn’t exactly get the reaction it was expecting.
In Spanish, Lumia is a synonym for a prostitute, although it apparently only appears in dialects with a heavy gypsy influence.
Honda however had a lucky escape. It almost named its new car the Fitta, which is a vulgar description for vagina in Swedish. It apparently did not translate well in a number of other languages.
Apparently the issue was detected early on and a decision was made to name the vehicle Jazz in most countries.