Unfortunate translations are usually the domain of short-sighted marketing campaigns. Who can forget when Chevy tried to market the Nova to Latin America, only to realize no va means “doesn’t go” in Spanish. Or when Pepsi tried to translate its slogan, “Pepsi brings you back to life,” only to discover it was inadvertently promising folks in China that drinking Pepsi would bring their dead ancestors back from the great beyond.
Names getting lost in translation is part of the humor and adventure of travel, and it’s not just Americans who giggle at names like Lake Titicaca. The language translation app Babbel looked at American city and town names, finding that some, in other languages, are highly inappropriate. Go seek them out, take a picture in front of the sign, and in addition to a deluge of Instagram “LOLs,” you’ll get 30 percent off Babbel for six months.