IKEA takes Arabic billboard translation gaffe in stride as netizens poke fun

IKEA recently made a gaffe in Bahrain when a Twitter user spotted an inaccuracy in its Arabic text. The image posted online showed the English text saying: "Create your perfect night's sleep." Below it was the Arabic copy which allegedly read "Same text but in Arabic". Nonetheless, the home furnishing brand took the gaffe in its stride, eventually changing the ad copy to "This is what happens when you don't get good sleep. Enjoy your perfect sleep."

Its tweet showing the latest copy had 100 retweets, 361 likes and 61 quotes. While netizens had a good laugh about the mistake, some discussed about poor translation efforts by companies and others also speculated that the team approving the final ad copy must have been non-Arabic speakers. Unfortunately, such mistakes happen often and are not limited to the advertising scene. Last year, one of Singapore's town councils apologised the inaccuracy in the Tamil translation of its police advisory sent out in a newsletter to residents in Marsiling and Yew Tee located in the North Western part of the country. 

The inaccuracies were a result of a "typesetting error" when the article was sent for printing, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reported previously, quoting a town council spokesperson. A resident told CNA that the Tamil translation was "seriously flawed and unreadable".

Meanwhile, the Tamil language was once again under the spotlight in this year's National Day Parade celebrations in Singapore. The Tamil text was misaligned in one of the animations, leading netizens to question if the the organising committee had engaged proper translators. The organisation committee has since apologised, explaining that it did engage Tamil translators to ensure the accuracy of the Tamil translations, The Straits Times reported. The committee also added that all animations for Tamil characters were accurate prior to the celebrations.

On a lighter note, IKEA Taiwan is jumping on the hype surrounding the popular game Animal Crossing by launching a 2021 catalogue featuring official in-game screenshots. The home furnishing company said designing one's home in the real world might not be as thrilling right now and IKEA can also spice up one's design on Animal Crossing. The catalogue not only includes avatars from the game but also has furniture specifications that are limited to the spaces within the game.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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