I'm sure a lot of translators are already aware of this story. Do you have any ideas if there are any guidelines if we are to translate brand names?


Article link: http://www.invasianmagazine.com/hong-kong-most-wanted-toys-ikea-lufsig/


Hong Kong Most Wanted Toys: IKEA Lufsig

Originally, Lufsig is from a toy series which to support UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), a HK$10 donation for each HK$99 Lufsig toy sold will be donated to Soft Toy For Education Campaign. The funny thing is, the toy’s name for China mainland market is translated likely to an obscene three-word phrase (路姆西) in Cantonese associated with mother’s genitalia. This drives people crazy in Hong Kong especially for protesters.

What make Lufsig becomes such popular is, the government of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has been characterised as a “wolf” for his perceived cunning and lack of integrity. And Lufsig is a wolf, so it was a perfect symbol of protest against the government. The craze started because a protester threw Lufsig at Leung last Sataurday. The word “throw” (丟) could possibly sound like “fxxk” in Cantonese. Therefore, protest or “fxxk your mother’s genitalia” was symbolized by “throwing Lufsig”.

If you want to support UNICEF, you might have to wait till next year early January as all Lufsig toys were sold out in Hong Kong. But there is also auction on Yahoo’s online auction platform, a Lufsig toy was listed for sale at the beginning at HK$150, it was raised up to HK$689 since Leung Chun-ying was elected Hong Kong’s new chief executive with 689 votes last year in March.

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    Good question. I always do a web search to see if the brand has already been translated by the company. If that doesn't turn up anything, and you are translating from English into Chinese, maybe just use the English name in the translation? I would hate to make up a brand name that the customer might not understand or like.

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