iPhone 7 Global Campaign Translation Challenges  

The importance of working your global team a bit before giving  launch clearance …

Here’s why they’re different: Hong Kongers speak Cantonese, while mainlanders and Taiwanese speak Mandarin. Speakers of the two biggest dialects of the Chinese language can find each other impossible to understand and even use different written characters.

And in Cantonese, “seven,” or 柒, is pronounced tsat, and is also slang for “penis.” The word isn’t particularly offensive. Instead, it is often used to describe a hilarious person or thing, or mock someone gently. Let’s say a friend slipped in public, or got a goofy haircut: you can say to him in Cantonese “You are so seven,” without hurting his feelings too much.

Or, you can take the literal meaning. That’s why “This is penis” or “Penis, is here” or “Exactly is penis” were not great choices for Apple’s Hong Kong marketing push.

via Quartz

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