I've often talked about the horrible language mistakes and translation tragedies of marketers' lame attempts to target the U.S Latino market in its native language. It's a symptom of marketers' belief that a) Spanish is just not important enough to do right or b) any "native Spanish speaker" necessarily speaks or writes the language well.
Here's a local example (an announcement by our beloved transit system, Muni) that is truly a massacre of the Spanish language, and in my opinion insulting to those it's attempting to target (click for larger image) sent to me by a Spanish-speaking friend:
Many of these are laughable, others just pathetic, but to some extent harmless. What's really worrysome here is that this is not an ad, but rather a public announcement. Granted, one can conclude what the messages are here, but what if the flubs were (and they certainly could have been) more serious, going beyond spelling mistakes to actually confusing or misleading the reader?Not too surprising from an entity like Muni, whose "mistakes" aren't only in how they target Spanish-speakers but in their mere day-to-day operations. What's also disturbing is a side-by-side comparison of the English sign and the Spanish one (click for larger image):
Apparently Muni believes that using double the words will make it easier for Spanish riders to understand the message, when in reality all it does is confuse. Shame on the poor soul who translated this, and all of the signs in the Muni trains. Just atrocious.
Spotted any language crimes on ads in your city? Snap a photo and we'll publish them here on Latin_Know!