Although English only has around 370 million speakers who consider it their first language, 900 million additional people speak it as a second tongue. This makes English both the most widely spoken and most widely abused language on the planet.

As anglicisms and half-anglicisms continue to encroach on other languages, odd and often humorous, linguistic combinations such as Denglisch (German/English) or Franglais (French/English) have emerged. As an English native speaker, I find the blunders of European multinationals who consider it hip to write global marketing tag lines in English particularly amusing.

This van was parked outside my apartment building this morning. I am assuming that they were here to fix the elevator. The German wording by the logo clearly indicates that are in the elevator, escalator, and automatic door business.

However, non-German speakers might be confused by the English wording on the passenger side door. The tagline “Dedicated to People Flow” might mistakenly lead them to believe that a mobile enema team was making a house call.

What are your favorite international English language marketing blunders? Leave a comment.

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