Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dehydrated flakes of parsley – Persil en flocons déshydratés

Typically, the name of a retail product features the main descriptor,  in this case, the word Parsley. Strangely enough, the small jar that we recently  bought at Loblaws’ said
Parsley Flakes

The French, shown immediately below, said

Persil en flocons

From a graphic, visual point of view, that is fine but from a linguistic one, it is not. You may have noticed that the adjective déshydratés agrees in gender and number with flacons (i.e. flakes). The problem is, it is not the flakes that are dehydrated, it is the parsley.

The resulting French is just as lame sounding as “Dehydrated flakes of Parsley”.

The right French sequence would have been

                                               Persil déshydraté
       en flocons

The symmetry with the English text is down the drain. I can see the reason why many more packages show this type of error. The in-house designer does the English layout and the French is “plugged-in” later, often without any input from a translator.

The consumer is looking for the product but cannot help noticing the “slippage” – this upsets him or her and may lead to avoiding other products of the same brand.

This is what I would call consumer retention in reverse.


Priscila Andrade said...

We have received 495 nominations for The Top 100 Language Blogs 2010 competition. For each of the four categories we have admitted 100 blogs into the voting phase. Your blog is included for voting in the 'Language Professionals' category. Congratulations!
As stated in our language blog Lexiophiles, 50% of the final score will be based on user votes. You can promote your blog by embedding a voting button in your page. The button code is available in the Lexiophiles blog. It can also be sent via email if you contact me.
The voting phase started on May 12th and ends on May 24th. Winners will be announced May 28th.
Good luck!
on behalf of the and Lexiophiles team

Priscila Andrade said...


Our “The Top 100 Language Blogs 2010 competition” is doing great, with some really cool blogs eager to get number 1 spot! We’re very glad you have accepted this challenge and joined us.

This post is just to remind you there is still time to get your blog up in the list. The voting goes until May 24th at midnight CET (GMT +1), so get down to business and keep voting!

Wishing you all good luck,

On behalf of and Lexiophiles team

Priscila Andrade said...


I’m writing to inform you that although your blog ‘{{blog }}’ got to the voting phase it wasn’t classified as one of The Top 100 Language Blogs 2010. We’d like to thank you for participating and sharing this experience with us!

With 495 nominated blogs and more than twenty thousand user votes the competition broke last year's record, making it probably the largest competition in its field. You’re welcome to visit and see the complete list if The Top 100 Language Blogs 2010 here:

Kind regards,


On behalf of the and Lexiophiles team