iPhone 7 Slogan Translates to 'Penis' in Hong Kong – Report

International marketing is tricky -- sometimes statements that are perfectly innocent in one country have unfortunate connotations in another. That's a problem faced by Apple, whose slogan for the iPhone 7 translates to "this is penis" in Hong Kong, according to a report.

The slogan is bad enough in the US -- "banal," as the report on the business news site Quartz notes. But in Cantonese, the Chinese dialect spoken in Hong Kong, the word for "seven" is pronounced "tsat," and is also slang for "penis."

"The word isn't particularly offensive. Instead, it is often used to describe a hilarious person or thing, or mock someone gently. Let's say a friend slipped in public, or got a goofy haircut: you can say to him in Cantonese 'You are so seven,' without hurting his feelings too much," says Quartz writer Zeping Huang.

Or tsat can mean, literally, "penis," Huang notes.

Suggestion for Apple: In Chinese, call the iPhone 7 a "ding-a-ling."

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— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud

kq4ym 9/21/2016 | 7:35:17 PM
Re: Really a stretch You would think someone would have caught this early on...unless it's an intentional PR trick guaranteed to get lots of free publicity for Apple. One never knows just what's behind the marketing geniuses; twists and turns on the journey toi sales.
Joe Stanganelli 9/13/2016 | 5:15:08 AM
No va Obligatory comparison to the Chevy Nova goes here. (link)
danielcawrey 9/12/2016 | 5:11:31 PM
Re: Really a stretch It's sort of like when you see a bad translation in English: Nice try, but you've made something that seems pretty funny. That's really how I see this, although you would think Apple would have paid closer attention. 
sbicheno 9/12/2016 | 4:40:00 AM
Re: Really a stretch I thought it was funny.
bosco_pcs 9/11/2016 | 7:10:57 PM
Re: Really a stretch If so, we will have another chance with iPhone 9 :)! Maybe Light Reading could beat the others to be punch in 2018 😀unless smart phone is supplanted by another smart device by then
Mitch Wagner 9/11/2016 | 6:39:55 PM
Re: Really a stretch It's just funny, that's all. No ado here. 
R Clark 9/11/2016 | 4:05:59 AM
Re: Really a stretch Yeah, much ado about nothingz.
bosco_pcs 9/9/2016 | 2:13:12 PM
Really a stretch The phonetic transliteration per the old Wylie system can make it that way (not quite) but that would apply to Samsung Note 7 and Galaxy 7 etc. 

Besides being a much-ado-about-nothing clickbait, it appears quartz has a bias against Apple anyway. So...
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