LCBO Bilingual Sign with Epic Translation Fail Grabs People’s Attention

Translation is not easy, that’s a fact. There are many grammar rules to take into consideration, as well as many words to memorize. But while making a wrong translation for yourself while learning a language is not a big deal, making a mistake when placing an ad in a store can easily end up on social media and become a meme.

That was the case when a translation fails ended up hilariously on big social media sites such as Twitter. The LCBO store in Ottawa grabbed people’s attention when they made a wrong translation for an ad. People pointed out the mistake, and some made funny comments regarding it.

If you want to know more about this situation and how it ended, you can read all about it below.

What Actually Happened?

What happened is that the marketing department from LCBO should consider a proofreader, or some good French translation services next time they place an ad. Apparently, the LCBO store had an ad with a message that got lost in translation, and of course, some customers couldn’t abstain from taking pictures and posting on the internet.

The ad in question was supposed to be bilingual, with one message in English and the other in French. However, here’s where the mistake comes into play. Whereas the English message was saying “Bring it home this week”, the next part was telling French customers to “French bring it home cette semaine”. It seems the retailer forgot to remove the “French” placeholder, and that’s how two of these signs have been displayed in stores until people noticed the mistake.

Even people who are bad at French can easily notice that something’s really wrong. So, how this slipped past the people working at the LCBO is hard to imagine, but at least people had a good laugh.

What Happened Afterwards?

Once the mistake has been spotted, of course, people couldn’t help but poke fun at the situation. Who doesn’t love a good laugh, after all? Pictures of the famous sign have made it on Twitter, with users making funny comments regarding the ad.

“Nice ad. French nice ad” one Twitter user captioned his post. Others posed commends such as “Oopsie” or “Finally, someone whose French is almost as good as mine is! (French finally, someone whose French is almost as good as mine is!) Hey @LCBO, if you ever need another top translator, I got you” says a post from Jessie Young on Twitter.

Of course, once people have shed some light upon the matter, LCBO took measures to remove the ads with the mistake and replace them with the right ones. “The error in the translation of this Deal of the Week signage was the result of an internal error and has since been revised” the LCBO explained in a news release.

Of course, this was an embarrassing situation as stores should proofread all of their signs and make sure no mistake is being made, otherwise, it looks unprofessional on their part. Not to mention, Canada is a place where part of the population speaks English, and the other speaks French. Bilingual signs are a must in specific areas. French customers would have been misled if the ad wasn’t noticed early enough and replaced.

The good thing is that at least it didn’t happen at a retailer with stores in Quebec, and it happened at the LCBO. Still, the retailer should be more careful in the future, and it’s safe to say they will now proofread all of their ads before placing them in their stores.

Could This Situation Have Been Avoided?

This situation wouldn’t have occurred if the retailer did a proper proofread of their sign before they showcased it. There’s no way nobody would have noticed the mistake and edited it.

Also, seeking French translation services could be another way to ensure this doesn’t happen, if those handling these bilingual signs are not great with French. The translation is not that easy, and sometimes trying to make a literal translation could also end up with a badly translated sign.

Hopefully, this situation was a wakeup call for the store, and future signs will not have such errors.

Final Thoughts

Mistakes are bound to happen, and we’re human, after all, so it’s not out of question to make errors every now and then. LCBO have learned a lesson with their translation error, especially once they’ve seen how many people engaged with the social media posts regarding the matter.

From now on, we can surely expect then to double-check their ads beforehand, maybe even check them more than twice to make sure they don’t repeat past mistakes. At least everybody was able to have a good laugh, and the customers will surely forgive the retailer for this mistake.

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