The Spokesman-Review

Slogans Really Sell A Product, Unless You Have To Translate

SUNDAY, NOV. 2, 1997

It’s merely a case of losing something in the translation, says Travel Holiday’s October issue about what sometimes happens when ad slogans or brand names appear in other countries. For instance:

In Taiwan, “Come Alive, You’re in the Pepsi Generation” was translated as “Pepsi Will Bring Your Ancestors Back from the Dead.”

In Mexico, Parker Pens proclaimed that its product “won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” But in Spanish, embarazar has another meaning, so the ad could be read: “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”

In the 1920s, when Coca-Cola first came to China, one shopkeeper translated the name syllable by syllable and came up with, “Bite the wax tadpole.” Today, when the Chinese characters that Coke uses are translated literally, they mean “happiness in the mouth.”

Doggone good walk: Guests at the London Mews Hilton who would like a companion for a walk in nearby Hyde Park can simply ask for Pierre. Chances are, the 8-year-old springer spaniel will jump at the chance.

Pierre’s owner, concierge Martin Young, says, “He’s both the most spoiled and the fittest dog in town. Everyone at the hotel indulges him with his favorite chocolate treats and gourmet tidbits from the kitchen, but then he burns it off during his many strolls with guests.”

One plus for guests is they never have to worry about getting lost. General manager Tricia Fitzsimons said Pierre knows the way back to the hotel “like the back of his paw.”

Maui No. 1: Maui was voted the No. 1 travel destination by 37,000 Conde Nast Traveler readers in this year’s 10th annual Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards Poll. San Francisco, which was the No. 1 U.S. city, also scored the highest for restaurants, followed by New Orleans and New York. Sydney, Australia, was voted the top foreign city and also scored highest for people/friendliness overall (Tucson, Ariz., was voted the friendliest U.S. city). Top choice for fun/energy: Orlando, Fla.

Amtrak crusies on: Amtrak is getting into the cruise business.

For years the railroad has had fly-rail program in which passengers flew in one direction and traveled by train the other. Now it has teamed up with Carnival Cruise Lines and United Airlines to offer rail-fly-cruise packages.

Thirteen three-, four-or seven-day cruises are among the options, and travelers can depart from ports in Vancouver, British Columbia, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami, Tampa or Port Canaveral. Among cruise destinations are Alaska’s Inside Passage, the Bahamas, the Caribbean and the Mexican Riviera.

Prices for the Cruise Rail vacations vary greatly depending on timing and cruise cabin type. Other factors also affect rates, which are available from a travel agent or Amtrak. For a detailed Cruise Rail brochure, call 800-321-8684.

Add a little exercise: Theme vacations - art, music, cuisine, culture - and biking vacations have been around a long time, but increasingly, savvy tour operators are combining special interests with exercise.

The latest issue of the Educated Traveler newsletter examines this new spin. It notes that the pace of biking often lends itself to examining themes more than a motorized tour. One tour combines morning cooking lessons in Bordeaux with afternoon biking, another wheels eco-tourists through Costa Rican rain forests. The newsletter includes a chart with 20 operators of specialized tours. A single copy of the newsletter is $8 from (800) 648-5168.

Best in the city: Another list of “bests” from an upscale publications’ “bests” - this time focusing on U.S. city hotels, from Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report ($125 per year; Box 50, Sun Valley, ID 83353):

1. Four Seasons (Chicago)

2. The St. Regis (New York)

3. Hotel Bel-Air (Los Angeles)

4. Four Seasons (New York)

5. Ritz-Carlton (San Francisco)

6. The Peninsula (Beverly Hills)

7. Mansion on Turtle Creek (Dallas)

8. Mandarin Oriental (San Francisco)

9. Ritz-Carlton (Chicago)

10. The Lowell (New York).

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