Korean Air reminds us why you should always pay for a translator…

Dear Korean Air,

If you’re starting service to a new destination (let’s just say Nairobi, Kenya, for example), chances are that describing the locals as “indigenous people full of primitive energy” won’t get you very far. See this Huffington Post article for full details on the screw up.

Filed Under: Korean Air, Media
  1. Not a translator but rather a cultural sensitivity coach. I am sure this was lost in translation.

  2. Reputation-wise this is a virtual egg on the face for them, but practically speaking, the number of native English speakers that will fly this route is close to nil. Without the internet I doubt anyone would have even noticed.

  3. @voice of reason:
    people in Kenya (former UK colony) speak English….

    But th emarketing dept. did a good job: almost everyone now knows about this route šŸ™‚

  4. I’m kind of 50/50 on this one. It’s bad form, true enough, but is it entirely incorrect? Honest question actually, because I’ve never been there and don’t have any plans to visit myself.

  5. That being said … does KE have fares from LAX (or other North American cities) to NBO? If so, that means that it’s eligible for Skymiles redemptions šŸ˜€

  6. @AK I checked ExpertFlyer and KE doesn’t publish any fares on this route šŸ™ All that exists are the IATA fares. However I don’t think this should stop you from trying!

  7. @arcticbull It seems only fares through the Atlantic are possible for NBO. A theoretical direct flight is a bit over 9600 and via CDG is 9700. Via ICN is 12244 miles.

  8. it is just a result of poor translation.
    some good meaning words cannot translate to english easily.

  9. In the United States, this is common practice in marketing materials – using hyperbole to make something sound catchy while actually saying something trite. I’m looking at just such a statement on a package of toilet paper where it says “take softness to the next level”.

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