Consumer Packaging in
The Duracell graphic designer/copywriter did not get the whole story.
From the federal point of view, the generic name must appear in both official languages:
2.1 Product Identity Declaration
Section 10 Act
2.1.1 Definition Section 30 Regulations
The product identity declaration is a statement of the product's common or generic name, or it may be defined in terms of its function.
2.1.2 Language Subsection 6(2) Regulations
The product identity must be shown in English and French. In some cases a product identity declaration is bilingual in and of itself, such as "cologne" or "serviettes".
It is interesting to note that the word battery is not present anywhere.
Two sets of qualifiers describe the AA Duracell batteries:
They are rechargeable and they are pre-charged. The word "rechargeable" is the same for both languages but its presence is confusing as it is not part of a French set of words. Pre-charged did get translated by Pré-chargée. Interestingly enough, even though the package contains 4 batteries, the adjectives used in French appear in singular only – préchargée. (as the word “pile” for battery is feminine). To correct this, all adjectives relating to the batteries would have to agree in gender and in number with batteries (feminine, plural).
The qualifiers present another problem: In English we have
STAYS CHARGED LONGER
RECHARGE LESS I guess they meant to say NEED TO BE RECHARGED LESS OFTEN.
On the French side, the situation gets even more confused, as we have
Reste chargée plus longtemps or
Conserve sa charge plus longtemps
Rechargée moins souvent literally means recharged less often. One meaning would be that the battery does not contain as much charge (during production?). I do not believe that is what they mean here. While this truncated type of statement is understandable in English, a better French would have been
Nécessite une recharge moins souvent or
Se recharge moins souvent
This article of the
51. Every inscription on a product, on its container or on its wrapping, or on a document or object supplied with it, including the directions for use and the warranty certificates, must be drafted in French. This rule applies also to menus and wine lists.
The French inscription may be accompanied with a translation or translations, but no inscription in another language may be given greater prominence than that in French.
In the case of the Duracell package, the English fonts are larger.
Do these mistakes make a difference – they certainly do and in my experience the customary reaction of a French-speaking customer would be to say: “The manufacturer doesn’t give a damn”, even in cases where it was an oversight, a lack of knowledge of the legislation. Would a business knowingly make these mistakes and alienate their customers?
Ces erreurs d’emballage sont fréquentes mais néanmoins déplorables. C’est au grand public qu’appartient le devoir de réagir.