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Ikea’s product names too 'sexy' for Thailand

Ikea’s product names too 'sexy' for Thailand

Published: 08 Jun 2012 15:34 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Jun 2012 15:34 GMT+02:00

While perfectly normal to Scandinavian ears, Swedish furniture giant Ikea’s product names often make Thai customers blush, sounding just a little bit too close to “sexy” slang.

"We've got to be careful. Some of them can be, well, a little rude, " said Natthita Opaspipat, a member of a team of Thai speakers employed by the company to modify terms so they can't be so easily misinterpreted, to US newspaper the Wall Street Journal.

According to the paper, the team spent almost four years before the company’s Bangkok launch last year by scrutinizing terms to see what they would sound like in Thai before transliterating them into the Thai alphabet.

In some cases smaller adjustment to the name had to be made to avoid embarrassment.

For example, the Redalen bed frame, to Scandinavian ears suitably named after a small Norwegian town, comes just a little too close to the Thai word for petting or even oral sex.

The pot plant Jättebra, meaning really good in Swedish, is also problematic, reports the paper, as it sounds like crude Thai slang for sex.

However, according to the report, the Thai team makes every effort to keep the names as close to the Swedish words as possible.

"The Swedish… words are important because they bring a unique character to the brand," Natthita Opaspipat told the Wall Street Journal.

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Your comments about this article

01:29 June 9, 2012 by reader
I remember back in the sixties or seventies in the UK, the "Electrolux vacuum cleaner" the tag line on TV advert was "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux"!

Then they wondered why it didn't sell in America.....
11:29 June 11, 2012 by lovebobu
555555 i can imagine that bed frame will be best selling item ;)
11:36 June 11, 2012 by insect
This explains the popularity Swedes have with Thais...All they need to do is speak Swedish....and of course the town is called Bangkok....lol
11:30 June 15, 2012 by nolikegohome
I love it 555555555 which means hahahahaha in thai
17:27 June 16, 2012 by Trace33
Who needs Saudi money when Ikea will fund your mosque?

Now " IKEA" is funding a MOSQUE, Director of Community Affairs at IKEA, Mikos Svennson said, "Although this is the first time we have sponsored a religious institution, we believe that the mosque will find benefit with our sponsorship. IKEA loves to help cultivate burgeoning communities."

IKEA .....What are you doing ?
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