Following the launch of the iPhone 7 by Apple, there is already talk on the internet about the phone’s shortcomings. For instance, the new phone does not have a jack for connecting one’s headphones. A pair of earbuds for wireless headphones will cost you $160. Now, this may seem costly considering that there is a high tendency of losing your earbuds.
Nonetheless, Apple, apparently riding on this humorous feedback, appears to be riding on a new level following a language mishap in the phone’s marketing slogan. One might ask how this is so, stay calm as you are just about to find out.
During the launch of iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China, Apple translated the “This is 7” slogan in three different ways.
In the first translation, the slogan loosely means “7 is here” while the second one is “Exactly is 7.” The third rendition was “This is exactly iPhone 7.” However, Apple failed to remember that Cantonese is the main language in Hong Kong. These slogans were in Mandarin. The word used to translate seven also means penis in Cantonese.
If you lay it bare, what Apple says in marketing the iPhone 7 is “penis here,” “exactly is penis” and “This, is exactly iPhone penis.” Well, this sounds funny considering that Apple is a huge global brand.
However, according to Quartz, the word “seven” in Cantonese is not offensive. People use it in a hilarious way or when they want to mock their friends. For example, when someone gets a haircut that makes them look absurd, it would be okay to tell them that they are “seven.”
Nonetheless, such a mistake is nothing new in the electronics industry. Take for example the Galaxy Note 7 by Samsung. If translated to Cantonese, the phone’s name would be something like Galaxy Note penis. In light of this development, consumers in Hong Kong are having a field day with the penis translation blunder.