Coca-Cola and the Story of the “Wax Tadpole”

When Coca-Cola wanted to enter the Chinese market in 1927, they faced the problem of transliterating the Coca-Cola trademark into the Chinese characters. According to Terry Morrison and Wayne A. Conaway it can be particularly difficult to translate English brand names or slogans into Asian languages. Because of that, Coca-Cola worked hard to ensure that transliterating their trademark would not lead to a misleading translation, explains Adam Wooten.

Unfortunately, while Coca-Cola still researched appropriate transliterations, some local shopkeepers who were anxious to capitalize on demand decided to make up their own Chinese equivalents for Coca-Cola. This resulted in meanings such as… (more…)