When Naming Companies, Watch for Foreign Faux Pas.

Business naming can be a hazardous activity.

There are hundreds of examples of names that were screened and approved, only to find after investing in branding the name that to contain objectionable translations or obscure meanings that are derogatory. Chevy’s Nova in Brazil means impotent Another name, I forget which one, turned out to be related to a fifteenth-century demon who ravaged women.

Naming IssueSo to help namers alleviate (not eradicate, just make the odds better) the problem, A service called www.Globalnaming.com was formed in 2010. Here you can enter a name candidate and the software will search it’s several databases of foreign slang and “dirty” words, thesauruses and dictionaries, and then indicate possible problems.

Very easy to navigate and to use. The deliverable is a pdf report.

One caveat: the name creation function on the site leaves much to be desired. In fact, I found it very limited and limiting.

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6 thoughts on “When Naming Companies, Watch for Foreign Faux Pas.

  1. Excellent resource and one I will pass along to others. It’s especially important to be aware of international translations and perceptions… for many years, I traveled to the Pacific Rim for business and quickly learned that there can be a duality of meaning. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. The Chevy Nova was one of the largest naming disasters in history and is taught in all the text books. Nova or “No Va” means “no go” with is not what you want your car to be.

    Be sure to check every word.

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