If you don’t speak the language …

… don’t use it to create advertising slogans or company names.

When we were in the States we were very amused to come across things like a restaurant chain called Der Wienerschnitzel. There’s two things wrong with this fake German: Schnitzel should have the article DAS, and Wiener Schnitzel should be two words, not one.

Now that we are living in Austria, I notice a similar thing here: shops and companies which give themselves English names, or use English slogans to advertise their wares, but who don’t really know English well enough to make a good job of it.

This morning on the way to work I noticed a fashion store advertising on it’s windows, Woman, Men, Kids. So it seems they sell clothes for one lone woman, as well as for (multiple) men and kids.

Or perhaps this is not a lack of English proficiency but rather an advertising for polyandry: a family consisting of one woman and several men?

Since there is a store just around the corner propagating the growing of hemp, perhaps this is one of those “alternative lifestyle” neighborhoods?

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  1. Holly says:

    Actually, Wolf, there are at least three things wrong with this: Der Wienerschnitzel sells, as you may have noticed, not schnitzel at all but hot dogs. That’s right, American-style hot dogs. How bizarre can you get?!
    But English is misused all over the world, especially on clothing. It seems to me many nations grab a handful of English words, throw them randomly onto a T-shirt and print whatever sticks.
    Are you familiar with the website http://www.engrish.com? Lots of laughs from (primarily) the Asian world in there.

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