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BRANDING NEWS: Businesses warned of pitfalls of bad translation

Businesses are being warned of the pitfalls of bad translation in the run-up to the general election.

KL Communications, which specializes in Chinese branding for UK businesses as put together some amusing takes on MP names into Chinese when they are simply transliterated.

Gordon Brown, if pronounced in Shanghainese sounds like "ge bu long" meaning "the bookkeeper makes a mess of the accounts" while David Miliband's name pronounced "ming li de", which would be used more like a nickname, implies "he lusts after money and fame".

George Osborne on the other hand has a number of unfortunate names he needs to avoid, implying: "George  regrets very much that he is unable to do anything about the status quo"; and even "Osborne frets and panics".

Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy, has a name in Mandarin which sounds as though he is questioning himself.  Murphy's opposite number David Mundell has a name that implies being ethical and mighty.

Kevin Lin, founder of KL Communications emphasises ‘The need  for politicians to not only use specialist translators  when marketing themselves in China, but also to make sure they publicise their chosen official names well in advance of any election. If they don't, the opposition party could beat them to it and certainly have some fun.'