In recent news, Pakistan announces that all imported food brands should translate what is written on their product. In accordance with the new policy, most brands have done it and it’s not a wrong move really. I mean, a product available in the country, if not accessible, should be readable to the masses right?
So for instance, if you look at the social media accounts of Burger King France, you will find them conversing mostly in French. That way they become accessible to their specific audience. Ferrero, I would say became accessible by following the policy and adding Urdu on the Nutella bottle.
But the problem with using the language of the target market is when you don’t use it the right way. Or better yet, you use the Google Translate version of it. By now, I believe everyone should know how flawed the translations of Google are. In fact, if I recall it correctly, we used to use Google Translate for comedy pieces.
Or it could be that Google Translate is pretty efficient when it comes to other languages. Actually, I think we should do a post on the languages, this service is till ignorant off. But that is a story of another day. For now, the story is about Urdu. And we know for sure that Google doesn’t know it.
Now, let’s stop putting the light on Google because we are not entirely sure if Ferrero did it or not. But it sure seemed like it due to the level of translation used. Have a look for yourself.
So the caption on the Nutella bottle read in English, ‘Hazelnut spread with Cocoa’. And the translation goes somewhat like this, ‘Hazelnut Cocoa k sath phela hua.’ Literally, 50% of the entire statement is in English, written in Urdu script. And ending the sentence on the verb just sounds unprofessional.
But that makes one think, do we, as Pakistanis, also know the right translation?
I don’t think so. At least, I for one, do not.
In fact, I asked some other people as well and it made people go into a monologue where they tried getting to the right word for hazelnut. Some thought it was akhrot which is walnut in reality. While others took some other dry fruit names. But no one yet has been able to tell me what hazelnut is called in Urdu.
Yet, most Pakistanis are laughing at this:
Well, let’s just hope that Google updates the Urdu word reservoir so brands have a better time with copywriting.
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