Expanding the business to another country is not an easy task. You always need to remember about the cultural differences, foreign law and dozens of other details. But one of the most important things to remember about when you start working with foreign audience is the language.

“The Bourne Identity” movie is still famous in Russia only because of this screenshot:

The Bourne Identity

The thing is that the name is not even translated; it is just the same number of characters! So instead of Foma Kiniaev for every Russian the name would sound like: “Aschf LSHTSHFOOM” which is not pronounceable even for us!

One more example from “The Terminal” movie:


The common male name Viktor is translated as “Gulnara” which is also a name, but actually a female one. Applause please!

So I guess you got the idea. You need a translation.

Of course if you prepare the advertisement for Russian audience you would be more careful about it than the Hollywood directors. Still Russian language is hard. It is very different from English or Finnish. Just remember this and if you know any native speakers who can check the text – ask them to! It is very easy to make your brand extremely famous not because of good promo campaign, but because of poor unprofessional translation.

The next advertisement was published in 2001 and it is still super popular at Russian social medias:


This is an ad of some Chinese car.  Every Russian-speaking customer can learn a lot about its benefits: wheel reinforced by the hydra (by the mythological creature, yes),  "luxurious tailoring strict line along itself" and other fantastic features. The best thing is that the safety of this car is guaranteed by the "instant trickery of the condom for driver and passenger".

I have nothing left to say but do not play with language, do not risk. Make sure you have someone to take care of the right message delivery in foreign language. Otherwise your marketing budget will just go for a waste. Or your brand will become famous, who knows? =) I can say that I have seen a lot of spelling mistakes in Russian texts in Finnish shops!

p.s. Making fun of all this cases made me check this post twice. If I still have missed any mistakes - I am so sorry))