latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Little goats get to go to college!

The subject line of a press release sent to me today reads, "La ayuda de los ganadores de lotería envía a cabritos a la universidad." Loosely translated it says "The help from lottery winners sends little goats to college." Don't get me wrong, I'm all for everyone having an opportunity to attend college.

The other problem with the translation is that for many Hispanics, words associated with "cabra" or goat refer to someone whose significant other cheated on them. When you call someone a "cabron" or a derivative of the word, it is a major insult/swear word. As such, my initial reaction was laughter about that, and less about little goats going to college.

I don't want to take away from Jacki and Gilbert Cisneros' generosity of establishing a $2.6 million scholarship fund with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund from their $266 million lottery winnings. They should be commended and emulated. I trust that their story will continue to get out there despite the literal and poorly translated press release from Lipman Hearne (the release has other problems as well).

As a blogger I receive many pitches and subscribe to different news services and sources. I enjoy reading what companies and organizations are communicating, but often read many poorly translated press releases. Grammatical errors, sure. But, most are literal and their originators don't take the time to make them more relevant for Hispanic readers. Just like advertising, press releases should also account for cultural relevance.

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  • At 2:15 PM , Blogger patroska said...

    Details details... is all about the details... y eso no significa "de colas" es "detalles"


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