Saturday, July 13, 2013

Cross-Cultural Explanations Needed Here

Himself has a number of relatives in the Philadelphia area.  Knowing that Thing One is a soccer nut, one of these extended family members sent him a Philadelphia Union (the Philly MLS team) jersey for his recent birthday.  He immediately put it on and came to show it to me: unfortunately, my immediate reaction was to comment: "Good thing you're a boy."

Not one of my better parenting moments, to be sure.  But in my own defense, this is the jersey:

For anyone who may be confused, Bimbo Bakeries is currently the biggest bakery company in the US, a division of Mexico's Grupo Bimbo.  Their corporate headquarters are in the Philly area (just looked this up), so I understand why they are the jersey sponsor for Philly's MLS team.  All perfectly logical.

I still felt compelled to explain the meaning of the American slang term "bimbo" to Thing One, though.  Not that I don't want him to wear the jersey, and I sure as heck don't want him to start using the term himself; I just don't want him to be confused if somebody makes a comment about his jersey.    

Must be tough to be a multinational matter what you call your company or your product, it's not going to translate well into some languages!


  1. Once when staying with a host family in Ensenada Mexico, the wife said "My husband works for Bimbo," to explain why his hours were weird (early morning deliveries or something such). Of course I thought works for A bimbo and that she was insulting the employer. OF course she'd heard that before and corrected me.

    I always like the cars "Nova" - remember those? Yeah, "no va" in Spanish means "no go." Great name for a car?? They couldn't understand why they weren't selling well.

  2. Exactly! Another example of cross-cultural confusion. :)


I love comments...please share yours!

Preview, Part 2

(Or maybe this should have been part 1 since it will happen first.) We dropped Thing One off at his first sleepaway soccer camp on Saturda...