We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Which Restaurant Chain Hilariously Mistranslated Its Famous Slogan in China?

Margaret Lipman
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Expanding overseas is a key step in ensuring the success and development of big corporations. Yet breaking into the international market is not always without incident. Cultural differences and language barriers can lead to confusion and mistranslations, sometimes with pretty hilarious results.

The American fried chicken chain KFC expanded rapidly after the first franchise opened in 1952. Notably, KFC was the first Western fast food chain to open in China, back in 1987. However, this booming success didn’t come without its hiccups. One mishap was the mistranslation of KFC’s famous slogan "It’s Finger Lickin' Good" to “Eat Your Fingers Off” when the chain first opened in Beijing.

Thankfully for the company, this amusing error did not seem to put people off eating chicken. KFC is by far the most popular fast food outlet in China and has seen continued expansion in recent years. There are now more than 9,000 locations in over 1,900 cities across the country, with menus that include burgers, pork, seafood, rice, and congee, alongside KFC’s famous chicken.

When it comes to translating slogans, a literal translation can often confuse the original meaning. A slogan that works well in one language isn’t guaranteed to resonate in another. Other well-known U.S. corporations have also fallen into the trap of mistranslation when marketing internationally, including the beer company Coors and the automobile manufacturer Ford. Coors once launched a campaign in Spain with the catchy tagline “Turn It Loose” to promote their handy twist cap feature. However, the company clearly didn’t do enough research. It turned out that when translated into Spanish, this slogan was an expression commonly used in Spain meaning “suffer from diarrhea.”

Ford made a similar blunder when launching an advertising campaign in Belgium. The phrase “Every car has a high-quality body” was morbidly translated as “Every car has a high-quality corpse.”

KFC Facts:

  • The name “Kentucky Fried Chicken” was coined by sign painter Don Anderson, in an effort to evoke an image of Southern hospitality for the first franchise location, which was located in Utah.

  • In Japan, there is tradition of eating KFC on Christmas Day, thanks to a 1974 marketing campaign.

  • KFC’s “Original Recipe” of 11 herbs and spices, written by founder Harland Sanders, is top secret and is kept locked in a safe at the company’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Margaret Lipman
By Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range of topics. Her articles cover essential areas such as finance, parenting, health and wellness, nutrition, educational strategies. Margaret's writing is guided by her passion for enriching the lives of her readers through practical advice and well-researched information.
Discussion Comments
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.