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Porn: Lost in Translation?

Jo Hawke
Lost in Translation: The American Dairy Association was so successful with its "Got Milk?" campaign, that they decided to use their ads in Mexico. Unfortunately, their Spanish translation read: "Are you lactating?"

If you are looking for Latino porn on the Internet, Spain currently has the highest presence on the Internet, followed by Argentina then Mexico. Colombia does not have an Internet presence at all. Their visitors have to go to sites in Spain, Mexico and Argentina. The Internet is almost barren of Mexican porn, and yet the sex-chats are full of Latinos speaking Mexican Spanish. 64 percent of Hispanics said they used Instant Messaging, while only 46 percent of whites and 46 percent of blacks did the same.

Hispanics On The 'Net
"According to research based on its own panel of 1.5 million Internet users, comScore charted a 19 percent growth in the U.S. Hispanic Internet population from last year — more than three times the growth among non-Hispanic Internet users. As a result, U.S. Hispanics now comprise 11 percent of the total U.S. online population, up from 9.9 percent in the prior year. comScore also found that while fewer U.S. Hispanic Internet users bought online during a given month — with 8 percent making a purchase, versus 10 percent of non-Hispanic Web users — Hispanic buyers spent 7 percent, or $15, more than the average non-Hispanic e-commerce shopper." – from: Moms, Hispanics Increasing Web Use - CyberAtlas.Internet.com

According to "Computer Economics", the non-English speaking, international, Internet market is expected to grow by 150 percent. The Spanish and Latin American theater are in the number two position, right behind the Asia Pacific, who are primarily, Japanese.

The Spanish-speaking surfers are there, just begging for Adult entertainment, but no one has tapped them yet. Why not?

As an adult webmaster on the look-out for new horizons and fresh meat, ahem, customers, then you have already considered translation into Spanish... Or worse – you translated your site into Spanish, and bombed, big time.

What The Heck Is Going On? Mistranslation
Translation is far more complex than simply substituting one word for another. One language can have many very different meanings for the same thing. Basic Spanish is pretty standard in most of the Spanish speaking countries, so translation is not normally that difficult – unless you are translating adult content into Spanish.

Translating programs are just not equipped for anything beyond a basic mainstream vocabulary. Never mind the language of Porn. For example, if you place the word "ass" in an automatic translator, you will receive the word: "donkey" while "Kinky" translates into "curled hair" or "a sweet roll"!

Sexual Relationships?
Lost in Translation: Ford Motors introduced the popular American "Pinto" to Brazil. After watching sales go nowhere fast, the company discovered that "Pinto" is Brazilian slang for "tiny male genitals." Horrified, Ford changed the nameplates to "Corcel" which means: "horse".

The Language of porn is in a league of it’s very own. Typically, the phrases used in describing sex are utterly different from the clinical terms for body parts. Spanish, however has it’s own peculiarities.

Did you know that there are TWENTY Spanish-speaking countries, and each has a different slang terms for cock and pussy? For Example: Penis: pene - This word does not even exist in porn. To find the sexual term, as opposed to the clinical term, you have to search under words like cock or dick:

  • Verga (dick) - Mexico, central and south America,
  • Polla (dick) - Spain, and some of South America.
  • Pinga (dick) - Puerto Rico, & Cuba .

A word you see pop up in Argentinean porn is "guara", which is "slut". In Spain that word is not used very much (apparently it is pretty foul), but in Argentina, it seems to be the headliner for everything.

It takes very careful research to select words and phrases that would come close to saying the same thing in all twenty countries (in more of a general way), without having it accidentally mean something else! Creativity is an absolute must.

One particular video box cover read: "Cuckoo for Cocoa dicks". Literally translated, "cocoa dicks" becomes "vergas de cocoa." or "dicks made from coffee beans". Not quite what I had in mind, and not exactly what the paying viewer, is searching for. "Cuckoo for Cocoa dicks" had to become: "crazy for chocolaty dicks" to imply the correct meaning. "Locos por vergas de chocolate".

How does one say: "fuck me" in Spanish? Well that depends on what country. In Spain, it's "Fòllame," in Central, South America and Mexico, it's "Pìzame," while in Cuba it would be "Jòdeme."

Meaningful Sex?
Lost in Translation: Chicken magnate Frank Perdue's line: "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken," sounds much more interesting in Spanish: "It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate."

Spanish translation for an Adult site is not something you can just ask "your friend who speaks Spanish" to do, especially if you want your surfers to take your sex seriously. "Your friend" will have to be very fluent in reading and writing conversational Spanish, and aware of the vastly different sexual terms used in the major Spanish-speaking countries. If not, then what you'll get back from "your friend" will be laughable, or worse – embarrassing. It is far too easy to spot a site built and translated by someone who is unfamiliar with the language or dialect.

As They Say In The Movies: "Don’t Try This At Home..."
You can try a professional mainstream translation service, but unless your service familiar with ALL the terms used for sex, your results will be just as "interesting".

Commonly Mistranslated Phrases:

  • Gang-Bang - Multiple violations.
  • Blowjob - Working on suction.
  • Strap-On - Leather strap ("a belt").
  • Pony-Play - Horses that play.
  • Cream Pies - Dessert pies made of cream.
  • Hand Jobs - The jobs of the hand.
  • Catfights - Kittens fighting.

It’s a simple matter of professional verses unprofessional. A Webmaster shopping for a new affiliate program is not going to add a anything that is poorly translated to his sponsor portfolio. Would you?

AEBN.com, The Adult Entertainment Broadcasting Network Inc., is the world’s largest provider of adult streaming video content, including Pay Per View movies, rotating pay-site video feeds, and hosted galleries serving over 85 niche categories. Click Here to find out more.

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