Language Lens

A blog about life, discovery and culture through the lens of language and linguistics.

Archive for the category “Marketing”

To be in the black vs. to be in the red, that is the question

To be in the black vs. to be in the red, that is the question.   These phrases are common in Business English, and despite black usually having a negative connotation, it is positive in this example.  “To be in the black” means for a company to be making profit, to have money in its account in other words, where “to be in the red” means the contrary–to have a negative balance in its account and owe the bank.  Both terms can apply to a person, a company or an account.

  • XYZ company is finally in the black and seems to be recovering financially!
  • ABC company on the other hand is in the red and continues to lose clients, unfortunately.

These terms come from the days of manual accounting, where a ledger was used to manually keep track of funds.  A positive flow of money was reported in black ink, and an expense was reported in red ink.  The way I wrote that makes it sound like a historic practice which it isn’t, but let’s face it, technology has replaced and changed many practices including how balance sheets and income statements are done.  Just remember this: a company wants to be “in the black“, as they want to be making money!

This is the case for English, but be careful as the phrases do no translate directly into Spanish!  “Estar en negro” or “trabajar en negro” means to work illegally, and translates instead to “working under the table in English,” which means avoiding taxes and earning in cash for example.  It doesn’t refer to a foreigner working in a country illegally.  “Estar en blanco” (literally, to be in the white) means to be working legally, to be paying taxes on wages and reporting income.

under-the-table

  • Estoy trabajando en negro por ahora.  I am working under the table for the moment.
  • No extraño mi trabajo en blanco, porque gano mejor en negro.  I don’t miss my registered/legal job, because I’m earning better under the table.

A little Business English for you folks, and my favorite Rolling Stones song with a fitting title: Paint it Black, but don’t be fooled by the name.  The lyrics are clearly about someone who is likely “in the red” instead.

Happy Birthday Lengua Lens!

Language Lens started as a blog and later developed into something more: Lengua Lens.  One year ago today Lengua Lens was officially launched!  Thanks for your follows, interest and support this past year!

Happy Bday

Time is money, or is it? How different cultures view and live time

“Time is money” said the American, but “no it`s gold,” says the Spaniard.  Expressions differ from culture to culture but a greater difference is that in how time is viewed and “practiced” from culture to culture .  Since coming to Argentina, I must say I am quite adapted to how time works but there are always exceptions (meaning anything having to do with the dreaded word: tràmite.)  I met an American traveling around the world in Buenos Aires, his first stop.  He was surprised that I arrived 15 minutes late to meet him.  Although I am much more loose with time than I used to be, I was still worried he would be bothered that I was late, but on the contrary.  To him, me arriving 15 minutes late was “on time” compared to the average of 45 minutes late he had calculated with the Argentines he had met.  “Forty-five minutes, is that all?” you think.  Any North American or Northern European living in this “time chaos” have many stories of their own!Image

Argentina is a place where the lack of systems and infrastructure sometimes (always when related to a tràmite) make things take longer than you want, by American standards that is.  It`s not just that it takes longer, sometimes you wonder if it will happen at all. There have been so many times when I have planned several “appointments” to see friends, but then all plans were thrown out the window when the first appointment started two hours late.  Or going to a store and the salesman is not in a hurry to check you out, as working quicker is no guarantee for more profit nor is that the priority.  Or what about those weekend nights when you return as the sun is rising?  A club or bar does not get busy until 2 am and family parties go all night with even the young kids pulling all-nighters.  And going to a restaurant or cafe is a real blessing as you can sit there for hours without complaint.  This would be unheard of in the US without leaving a nice tip.  This is Argentina. You love and hate how time works.  It depends on where you come from and/or how tied you are to it.

Linear cultures are those who plan ahead, schedule, organize, are results oriented and do one thing at a time generally. These are profit-oriented societies where time is precious and viewed as even scarce. Time moves fast and if you want to benefit, you have to move fast with it.  Americans, Swiss and Germans are in this category.  According to the article “How Different Cultures Understand Time” from the Business Insider, Americans are people of action, and they cannot bear to be idle.  They view the past as gone and the present moment as an opportunity.  Argentina is considered a Multi-active culture–lively, people who do many things at once, planning their priorities not according to any time schedule but instead on the potential thrill or importance of each appointment. These cultures are emotional and people/relationship oriented.  They make decisions based on feelings where linear cultures stick to the facts.  Other cultures in the multi-active category include Italians and Arabs.  The third category are Reactive cultures,  those cultures that prioritize courtesy and respect, always listening (instead of talking like the multi-active) and carefully reacting to others` proposals.  In this group, face to face contact is important, statements are promises, and the people are very harmony oriented.  The Chinese, Japanese and Finns belong to this group.

There is also a “cyclical view” of time practiced in Eastern cultures where time is viewed neither as linear nor event/relationship oriented.  With cyclical time, the sun rises and sets each day; the seasons follow one another year after year, and people grow old and die, but their children ensure that the process continues. Time is not scarce when time is cyclical and there always seems to be an unlimited supply of it.  Asians do not see time as racing away as it would with a linear lens, but instead they view time as coming around again in a circle, where the same opportunities, risks and dangers will re- present themselves later, when you are wiser. Westerners instead are accustomed to making quick decisions and if a lot of time has passed without making a decision or producing something, it is often viewed as “wasted” time.

Although linear and cyclical cultures are very different, they both still see the past as something we have put behind us and the future as something that lies before us. In Madagascar, however, the opposite is true.  The Malagasy people view the future from the back of their heads, or passing from behind.  Instead it is the past that stretches out in front of them, because they can see it.  They can look at the past, enjoy it, learn from it, and even “play” with it, such as by consulting their ancestors or even digging up their bones!

If you are planning to live or work abroad, you can never really be prepared for how time is viewed differently until you live it and learn to love it (although complaining is still allowed once in a while!)  Just a few differences between English and Spanish that I have encountered when talking about time are the following:

  • English calls it “wasting time,” where the equivalent in Spanish is “to lose time.”  In Argentina for example, if you do not produce something or make the most of your time, at least there is a hope that you enjoyed yourself and/or relaxed a bit; this is the only thing that would have been “lost” for example.
  • To make time in English is to reserve time to do something else, surely something productive.  Time is structured and organized so you “set aside” two hours a week to study English for example (hint hint for those students out there!)  Making time in Spanish (haciendo tiempo), however, is related to “killing time”–like waiting for your flight at the airport.
  • El tiempo (the time) also means “the weather,” where these things would never be confused in English.  Time is time and weather is weather, period!
  • And “ahora” means “now” right?  Not always!  It could mean “later” and remember that there is always time to do it “tomorrow… mañana, mañana.”

The list goes on as do your personal stories.  Feel free to share them on a comment. I`d love to hear more about your personal experiences related to time and culture!

The main sources for this post include the following articles:

 

Cross cultural marketing blunders oh my! Part 2

Since 1969, the number of multinational companies in the world`s 14 richest countries has tripled from 7,000 to 24,000 (1).  Globalization is real and more apparent everyday.  When designing a global marketing strategy, language plays a key factor of course, however, sometimes it is not language at all that is the problem and instead is a cultural misunderstanding or something that was overlooked.  A multinational company today must understand how culture affects consumer reactions and also what effects their own strategies could have on a culture.
cross cultural globe
Defined by Kotler in Principles of Marketing, 4th European edition, 2005 , culture is “the learned distinctive way of life of a society” and the dimensions of culture are seen in religion, customs and traditions, the social organization of a society, values, the education system and education levels, the political and legal system, technology and material culture, and aesthetic systems such as language, music and the arts.  A previous blog post, “Translation marketing blunders oh my!” focused on language and translation errors where in this post, the cause of the marketing blunders listed is cross cultural.
cultural cartoon
1. Coca Cola had to change their marketing message all together after learning that in India it is not common to drink soda during a meal.  Soft drinks are instead saved for guests or for special occasions (2).
2. Known in the United States for the brown trucks, UPS had to issue a fleet of different color delivery trucks since their trucks closely resembled hearses in Spain (3, 12).
3. During the 1994 World Cup, Heineken printed the flag of each qualifying country under the bottle cap.  Saudi Arabia was included, which has a holy verse on its flag.  This angered Muslims all over the world as the verse was then associated with alcohol.  Heineken reacted by recalling all the bottles and stopping their marketing campaign all together (4).
4. Pepsodent attempted to sell whitening toothpaste to a market in Southeast Asia only to find out that the local people chewed betel nuts to blacken their teeth, as they find it attractive (5).
5.  In 2002, the UK sports manufacturer Umbro had to withdraw its new trainers (sneakers) called the “Zyklon” as that was the name of the gas used by the Nazis in concentration camps to murder millions of Jews (5).
6.  One of Europe’s largest telecom firms, Orange, is generally considered a marketing success story with the launch of its now famous slogan: “The future’s bright… the future’s Orange.” This message spread across the UK in the 1990`s with huge success, however, among the Catholic population of Northern Ireland, “Orange” is linked to the “Orange Order”–the Protestant organization that is viewed as both fanatic and hostile by many Catholics .  With a slogan like this, it better translated to “The future’s bright… the future’s Protestant Loyalist,” which was not appreciated among the Catholic Irish population of course (5).
7. Neerlandia, a Dutch producer or powdered milk, exported its product to African countries using tin cans.  They later switched to alupacks made of aluminum foil in an effort to cut costs.  This, however, created some unexpected challenges.  First, custom`s officials were suspicious that the new packing materials contained drugs. Secondly, sales were disappointing after the change because Neerlandia learned that customers were buying the product because of the packaging in fact!  In addition to using the powdered milk, buyers used the tin cans for boiling water, preparing food and in some cases, for building homes.   Neerlandia later discontinued the alu-packs and returned to using the reusable tin material (6).
8. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they put a picture of a baby on the label of their jars, just as they do in the United States.  However, the company did not realize a common practice in some African markets of putting pictures of the contents on the labels since many consumers are illiterate…you can imagine how this horrified customers (5).
9. Staff at the African port of  Stevedoring saw the “internationally recognized” symbol for “fragile” (a broken wine glass) and mistook it for a box of broken glass. Rather than waste space they threw all the boxes into the sea!  Not only can written language be misinterpreted but also pictures and symbols (7).
10. Pepsi changed its vending machines from deep blue to light blue in Southeast Asia and started losing market share.  They later learned that light blue is a symbol of death and mourning in Southeast Asia (9).
Based on International Marketing Blunders Revisited, in the Journal of International Marketing (4), blunders like this can be avoided if companies follow these suggestions.  If not, they are sure to get off target… sometimes with irreversible consequences.
  1. Don`t be overconfident or overly optimistic about your product in new markets.
  2. Don`t overlook the importance of learning in international markets.
  3. Avoid ethnocentrism.
  4. Avoid the “self-reference criterion.”
  5. Do your homework about your new markets!
  6. Seek relationships with local people from the culture.

off target

Translation marketing blunders oh my! Part 1

I have a favorite class with students where we talk about cross cultural communication and share stories about language and/or cultural mishaps.  Something will inevitably happen when you are learning another language.  Working as a waitress once I remember telling a Spanish speaking table that I was pregnant instead of embarrassed.  It`s a common error to make and in the end just reason to laugh.  Don`t let the possibility of saying something wrong stop you from trying!

The stakes are higher in business, however, and translation and cultural awareness must be considered.  In international marketing, one of the most well-known translation blunders comes from car maker Chevy and their car the “Nova.”  In Spanish it literally translates to “It doesn`t go.”  It was obviously not the message Chevy wanted to portray for its car that is suppose to go, and go fast for that matter!  (See below for more clarification on this case.)

Image

Mistakes with cultural awareness without a doubt have happened and continue to happen, especially as the world becomes more global everyday.  Examples of that for another post!  Today`s post is a compilation of translation mistakes (in writing, not speaking) that led to unfavorable results in international markets.

1. The Chevy Nova isn`t the only English to Spanish (or vice versa) mistake that has occurred with cars.  In fact there have been many.  Here are three examples of model names that were unfit for the Spanish and Portuguese markets.

  • The Mazda Laputa literally translates in Spanish to the Mazda “whore” (la puta).
  • The Nissan Moco literally translates to the Nissan “bugger” (el moco).
  • The Mitsubishi Pajero is the Mitsubishi “wanker.”   The car was renamed as “Montero.”

2. Honda introduced their car the “Fitta” in Nordic countries in 2001, only to later to learn that it referred to a woman’s genitals in Swedish and Norwegian. In the end, they renamed it the “Honda Jazz.”

3. Gerber is America’s best-known baby food maker, but “gerber” can be translated as “to vomit” of all things in French. Evidently the name was not marketed in France.

4. In Germany, Clairol launched a curling iron called the “Mist Stick” and mist in German is slang for manure: the “manure stick.” Uh oh…

5. Sharwoods, a UK food manufacturer, spent £6 million on a campaign to launch its new ‘Bundh’ sauces only later to receive calls from numerous Punjabi speakers indicating that “bundh” sounded just like the Punjabi word for “arse”. Oops!

6. The Japanese company Matsushita Electric (now Panasonic) was promoting a new PC for internet users. They had created the new web browser and received license to use the cartoon character Woody Woodpecker as the interactive internet guide.  The day before launch, they realized the mistake and saved themselves a lot of embarrassment. The ads for the new product featured the following slogan: “Touch Woody – The Internet Pecker.”  “Woody” and “pecker” are both references to male genitals in English.

7. In the 1970`s, Wang Computers was an American computer company with the motto: “Wang Cares.”  Sounding a lot like “wankers,” British branches refused to use the motto.

8. “Traficante” is an Italian mineral water, but in Spanish translates to “drug dealer” or “trafficker.”  In 2006, it was purchased by Coca-Cola.

9. When Pope John Paul II visited Miami in 1987, a local T-shirt maker produced commemorative T-shirts for the Hispanic market “Vi la papa” without realizing that a simple article change in Spanish changed the meaning. The shirts literally read: “I saw the Potato” (“la Papa”), instead of “I saw the Pope” (“el Papa”).

10. The toothpaste and toothbrush company “Colgate” literally means “hang yourself” in the voseo form of Argentinian Spanish.

More on Chevy`s Nova: Despite being perhaps the most common example given in international marketing, the story of the Nova is actually a myth.  The car was sold with this name in Venezuela and Mexico, having quite successful sales in Venezuela in fact.

For a similar post but related to cultural blunders, go here!

Sources:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presenting the McFlation, formerly known as the Big Mac

I don´t frequent McDonald´s, but I do go every one in a while.  Back in the US when I had a bad day, I remember occasionally I would call it a “Big Mac Day.”  It was when I had to find some relief in the midst of deadlines or pressure, or just needed a momentary escape when nothing was going right.  Occasionally a Happy Meal (Caja Feliz) would do, when I wanted to spend as little as possible, and then a friend´s kid would later become the proud owner of the toy.

McDonald´s in Argentina… well it´s not too different really, but many of the stores are a bit bigger than I recall in Colorado.  They have quite large coffee shops/separate stores to compete with Starbucks; the items are in Spanish (obvio!), and some say the beef is better as it is Argentina.  I´m not too sure about that one (insert sarcastic intonation here), but there is something very different about McDonald´s here that I just now have come to understand.  As mentioned above, I prefer the Big Mac.  So it was no surprise that I would usually choose the Big Mac when I went there.  I was also surprised to find that it was much less expensive than the other “combos” as they say and was close to the price of a Caja Feliz–truly!  But who would know this as it´s not listed on the menu to even see.  I have always had to ask for it you see.

Argentina is known for its history of high inflation and yet the government says something else, so where´s the proof?  The proof is in many places, including the price of the Big Mac!  The Big Mac Index was invented by the Economist in 1986.  The Economist says: “Our Big Mac index is a fun guide to whether currencies are at their “correct” level.  It is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), the notion that global exchange rates should eventually adjust to make the price of identical baskets of tradable goods the same in each country.”  This Burgernomics measure was never intended to be a measure for currency misalignment (aka high inflation) and was instead a fun and easy way to understand costs in different currencies, but the tool has become a global standard.

Big Mac index

The Argentine price of the Big Mac looks well in line with other currencies when you look at the Big Mac Index; however, it doesn´t even compare to the prices of other items on the menu.  It is an obvious manipulation to mask a bigger problem–the near 25% inflation that the government denies.  I did some secret shopping the other day to see current McDonald´s prices and was not surprised what I found.  The Big Mac itself is 19 pesos, where the Cuarto de Libra (Quarter Pounder) is 33 pesos and the Triple Mac is 35 pesos!   That´s a difference of about $3 USD for just an extra patty of meat.  As far as the combos go, the Big Mac Meal is 29 pesos, where the Triple Mac meal is 49 pesos,  the Cuarto de Libra meal is 47 pesos, and a Caja Feliz is 30 pesos!  A Happy Meal is more expensive than a Big Mac meal, como puede ser? (How can this be?)  A Happy Meal is always one of the least expensive items on the menu… in the United States that is, and not in Argentina where the Big Mac price is manipulated for economic reasons.  Using today´s “official dollar exchange” ($1USD is $5.29AR), prices equate to the following:

  • Big Mac sandwich: $3.59 USD (Actual price $5.90)
  • Cuarto de Libra sandwich: $6.24
  • Triple Mac sandwich: $6.62
  • Big Mac combo: $5.48
  • Triple Mac combo: $9.26
  • Cuarto de Libra combo: $8.88
  • Caja Feliz: $5.67

Argentines are well aware of the government trick, and they have even coined a term for it–“El Menu Moreno”–based on the name of commerce secretary Guillermo Moreno who is “notorious for telling companies to fix certain prices to keep the official inflation rate down.”  In June 2012 Big Mac prices rose 25% after President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner´s attempts to pressure McDonald´s to keep the prices low failed.

Big Mac Argentina

Some sources say that McDonald´s has decided to stop offering the Big Mac in Argentina as the  government-manipulated price does not make it profitable any longer, however, if you ask for it, you can still get it.  I´d like to see what happens if you order the McFlation combo.

Global prices for a Big Mac in January 2013, by country (in USD).

 

The Starbucks Dialect: Tall is now ‘Alto’

If language is the subject, then it would be a disgrace to not have a post about Starbucks, for they have essentially created their own dialect!

  • “Can I have a grande up-side-down caramel macchiato? asked one customer in a south Jersey Starbucks.
  • “Una Skinny Vainilla Latte Alto” asked one customer at a Buenos Aires Starbucks.

So what the hell is ‘skinny’ and what about ‘up-side-down?”  Skinny is a little easier to guess (low-fat), however, up-side-down was unclear to me until I read this article.  It means they put the shots in first instead of last, I guess.  I’m afraid I can’t share what difference this makes (as I’m a pretty basic Starbucks customer), but those who choose to add this word to their “Starbucks speech” certainly can.

Starbucks made coffee cool for young people in the United States if you ask me, and I see the trend here in Buenos Aires as well.  Two years ago, you knew where the Starbucks were in BA as there were few, but now they are popping up all over the place.  The differences from US locations: the tall is not ‘chico’ (small in Spanish) but is called ‘alto’ (which is tall in Spanish, for those who don’t know.)  Other differences are few honestly.  The furniture and ambience is comparable; the food is the same but translated to Spanish in some cases on the menu; there is a ‘dulce de leche’ latte and muffin that are both wonderful; the bagels are abnormally large; they don’t have the gift cards that are common in the US, and the prices are nearly the same, despite economic differences… but the stores are equally as full.

Today after talking to a few students (in Argentina), they agreed that Starbucks is a trend, but they wonder if it will last.  One cultural difference they noted was that Argentines are used to going to a restaurant and spending a long time talking, for many hours at a time.  It’s less of a ‘tipping culture’ so people are accustomed to parking at restaurants.  Starbucks is no different.  Although locations are equally as full in the US and many people stay for hours at a time, in general, it’s a come-and-go type place.  Students today mentioned that Starbucks isn’t appealing to many Argentines because of the long lines, the less than efficient service at times and the fact that there just aren’t any seats!  The business model appears to be the same, but it’s a different culture.  So… not everything will work the same, right?!  You’d think so.

Although some of the Starbucks dialect is naturally not used (and is equally difficult to understand for English speakers), the fact that Starbucks has a dialect of its own remains to be true in a Spanish-speaking country.  Grande is still Grande and Venti is still Venti, but Tall is now ‘Alto.’

http://pinterest.com/pin/250653535482103669/

When Grammar Speaks

English speakers and English students will tell you that you use the Simple Present verb tense to express routine and habitual activities, or to express known facts or permanent states, where you use the Present Continuous to express temporary actions in the moment they are happening (I’m writing this blog post now, for example.)

It’s a fairly simple lesson and a boring one at that for an English student well-beyond the present tense, but there is something a bit tricky about this topic: stative verbs.  These are verbs that express just that, a state of being that stays the same rather than an action that changes.

To like and to love were included in the list of stative verbs that only can be used in the present tense.  I like McDonald’s, or I don’t like McDonald’s, depending on where you stand, for example.  Although it’s not as common, there are occasions when we use to like in the Present Continuous.

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  • How’s your new car Bill?
  • “I’m loving it.”

You see Bill can say “I’m loving it,” because it’s still a new experience.  Eventually, as time goes by and the new-car-smell fades away, he will have to decide if he likes his car or not and will then use the present tense.

But listen, this post isn’t intended to be a grammar lesson, and is instead to write about something interesting related to grammar and marketing.  McDonald’s current slogan (first launched in September of 2003) is “I’m lovin’ it,” which is technically the Present Continuous.

Based on the hopefully not too boring grammar description above of the Present Continuous, what the slogan is really telling you is that you’re loving it only as you’re eating it, because like all actions in the Present Continuous, it will pass.

Now of course this wasn’t McDonald’s intention.  Any marketer wants to instill a lasting message in its customers, perhaps more like the Spanish version, in the present tense, “Me encanta” (I love it.)

Image

Without a doubt the temporary nature of this grammar is true for Morgan Spurlock, Director and Star of the documentary Super Size Me.  He loved what he was doing for a short time, and made his point in the end about the diet.

Oh did he ever…

So in short, McDonald’s grammar choice really doesn’t give the message it wants, although many would argue it gives a more honest message.

http://pinterest.com/pin/250653535482103587/

http://pinterest.com/pin/250653535482103581/

Regionalisms: Pop vs. Soda

  • Bob: “Would you like a pop?”
  • Linda: “A what?”
  • Bob: “Like a Coke or a Sprite, ya know – a pop?”
  • Linda: “I call it soda – where have you been living?”

Linguistics teaches about dialects within countries or idiolects, the dialects of individuals and even companies.  A classic example of regionalisms in the United States are the various terms for soda, or is it pop?  Even sodi-pop, a mix of the two, is a common term used in the mid-west.   Growing up in Colorado, to me it’s pop, and it will always be, unless I have to pedir una gaseosa in Spanish.

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According to the map, there are three primary names for the carbonated beverage: Pop, Soda and Coke with many variations throughout different regions.  Facebook friends throughout the country confirmed results of the map, and they also introduced a few terms that would be found in that “other” category.

  • My family in Illinois says “sodi pop.” 🙂
  • Bubbles! Junk! Fizz! …and Soda!
  • I get made of for calling it pop out here on the east coast.
  • Actually as a kid I called it soda-pop until my cousins informed me one summer that this was very wrong and teased me mercilessly until I chose a side.

How many more colors would be introduced to the map if it represented other English speaking countries?  These terms don’t even include the different terms from other English speaking countries.

  •  In Australia I believe it is just called fizzy drink… or by the name, except for lemon-lime soda which is referred to as lemonade both here and in the UK.

So, what do you call it and second question: Could you change the word or is this a regionalism that will always stick with you?  Again, I”m partial to “pop.”

http://pinterest.com/pin/250653535482103431/

A Case of Marketing or Merely Different Taste?

To any American these are cough drops, and perhaps the most recognized brand of all.  Coming to Argentina, it struck me that they were recognized as “caramelos” (candy).  They are in fact used as a kind of candy to soothe the throat, or even as a mouth freshener.

So, is this simply a marketing case study where the same product was marketed in different ways and now is used for different purposes, or is it a matter of difference in tastes (gustos)?  And thinking medically, are the products different enough to merit one being a candy and the other used for medical reasons?

Since I work at a pharmaceutical company as an English teacher and coach, I was in the midst of perfect people to answer the question!  Students did some investigating and we learned that the active ingredient is indeed the same in both countries: menthol, and the Halls website confirmed that the products are used differently in the United States versus South American countries.

It turns out that the active ingredient is the same, but we now suspect that the quantity of menthol is different enough to allow the product to be used in such different ways.  Unfortunately this is where the story stops.  Road block: the quantity of menthol in Argentina isn’t available as it’s considered a candy and not medicine.  So, perhaps the question of merely a marketing mystery or a difference in tastes cannot be answered…or perhaps it’s a little bit of both.

Whatever it is, this is a discovery that I find fascinating.  I don’t think the products are different enough in each country, different enough to warrant a completely different perspective of the product.  I think it’s simply a reflexion in society of how societies can be different, and this is but yet a metaphor for that.

Supporting quotes after asking Facebook friends to describe the picture above:

  •  If you’re over the age of seven, they’re cough drops. If you’re seven or younger, they’re one of the lower-ranked tiers of candy.
  • Halls Cough drops, NOT candy!!! Por Dios…jajaja 
  • Until we moved to South America, I would say they are cough drops. That is the ONLY time I would ever want to consume them still, although I now know the alternative. :))
  • Candy in Argentina.
  • In the UK they are meant to be for when you have a cough or a sore throat but I think they taste yucky!

http://pinterest.com/pin/250653535482103354/

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