However, I also think that it is even more important for people to respect other languages/cultures by not attributing their own independent negative connotations.
For example when it comes to naming a project, a Swede shouldn't get offended by an English-speaker using "fan" (Swedish swear for devil), and an English speaker shouldn't get offended by a Swede using "slut" (Swedish root for stop/end).
Maybe I'm wrong, but this is a neat service nonetheless.
I'm not going to get strident at a Swedish company trying to launch a product called "slut", but at the same time I'm going to have trouble taking it seriously, and I'm probably not going to recommend it to anyone.
We can talk about how people should act, but the simple fact is a Swedish developer releasing SkrappostSlut or a Chinese developer releasing NiggaApp are probably not going to get a lot of traction in English markets and I’d expect similar issues the other direction. If those markets are important to your business, it’s probably wise to at least be aware of these sorts of issues.
(Use the site to check what that word means in my native language)
I think HN has a subset of people who swarm to these sorts of threads and rage-downvote based on some sort of unusual meme (in the original sense of the word) that's spreading through their community.
For instance, Herman Miller has just introduced the "Motia" Gaming Desk . They don't offer an explanation for what "Motia" means, and I can't seem to Google/DDG the meaning, because search results in my location are overwhelmed by the colloquial meaning of "motia" in Hindi and Urdu. That meaning is "cataract", an unfortunate name for a gaming desk that goes out of its way to reduce eye strain by sporting a matte, anti-glare finish.
I think that's why it is used in cataract where eyes look like pearls.
So the meaning depends on which context you used the word in.
It means "StopTheDevil"
Is that what you really care about here? It sounds like feigned concern over a non-issue so you can throw shade on the product that doesn't align with your politics.
> an English speaker shouldn't get offended by a Swede using "slut" (Swedish root for stop/end).
No one has claimed otherwise. If a product is designed for international usage, the company should think about what is implied by the name of the company in minds of their potential customers.
Sweden's Lund University admin snaps after being trolled by Indians on Facebook - https://www.freepressjournal.in/world/swedens-lund-universit...
You seem to be coming from the point of view (that's my assumption based on our short comments; it maybe something else) that it doesn't meet the literal dictionary meaning so it's not a snap - which I disagree with.
I think that's all to it.
It's disingenuous at best to refer to the response as "snapping".
I made WordSafety five years ago as a two-night quickie side project:
It is sadly neglected by me since then. Fortunately the code is extremely simple so it just runs with zero maintenance.
Actually I'd love to hand this site over to someone who would take better care of it than me. If that's you, drop me an email or Twitter DM (details in my HN bio).
(Fun side story - apparently HP names their servers this way for government procurement contracts. So the contract can be written specifying a "HP DL380p server" and HP can supply whatever the latest generation is. Even if it shares nothing in common with the previous generation other than a name.)
>The iPhone 7's "This is 7" slogan has been misunderstood when translated to certain other languages. The phone's slogan in Mainland China is "7, is here;" (Chinese: 7，在此; pinyin: 7, zài cǐ), while in Hong Kong, its slogan is, "This, is iPhone 7;" (Chinese: 這，就是iPhone 7; Jyutping: ze5, zau6 si6 iPhone 7).
>In Cantonese, the local language of Hong Kong, the slogan could be mistakenly interpreted as "This is penis". "Tsat", (Chinese: 杘; Jyutping: cat6), is a common slang term for an erect penis, and "seven", (Chinese: 七; Jyutping: cat1), which varies only in tone, is often used as a euphemism.
Of course, it wouldn't be wise to name our product 'Corona' now(probably ever?); Let me give you another epidemic related example -
"Tata Motors, an automobile company which owns Jaguar, Land Rover were about to release their much anticipated car in 2016 called ‘Zica’ just when Zika virus epidemic struck the world; Tata motors promptly rebranded their car to Tiago before release." 
After 23 years they changed their name to Easis quoting problems with building new customer relations especially abroad.
Name change announcement (in Danish): https://www.easis.dk/isis-er-lagt-paa-hylden
I actually got that name in a Windows notification once, of course, when people were looking at my screen. That was a lot of explaining.
This would work much beetter as open source project.
Find a colleague with a 12 year old, and give them a folder with the name in big letters on the front to leave on the kitchen table. You'll find out the next day if the name's safe.
I've given people on HN feedback a few times about how "that doesn't mean what you think it means and sounds to me like a terrible name for this project and here's why." A website checking for things like this is maybe a reasonable first step for some people, but if you aren't somewhat fluent in the culture and language of your primary target audience, a website like this is likely insufficient. You should get some "live" feedback as well if you aren't sure, preferably from someone like me who is prone to being too truthful to be good. People with better "manners" may not tell you honestly "Ha! That sounds like (offensive as all hell phrase) to me!"
A friend of mine from the Philippines speaks Cebuano and Olango, two different visaya dialects, they can mostly understand eachother, but there's phrases or words in each dialect that translates to offensive things in the other dialect, apparently this is a common source of confusion between speakers of only one of the two languages with a speaker of the opposite dialect.
It warned me that it contained the words 'ho' and 'chola'. Not really the result I expected.
Due to legal concerns, a product had to be renamed and the sales and marketing team spent weeks looking for a new name.
Those teams were basically entirely native English speakers in a non English speaking country. Despite having lived there for a few years, none of them had more than a basic proficiency in the local language.
Anyway, they sent a company wide email, proudly announcing the new name, and asking if anyone saw any issue with it. It happened to be a pretty embarrassing word in the local language, which everyone had on their mind, but no one dared say anything, until the big mouth in the company just sent the item in question as a picture to every one in the company.
A different name was promptly announced.
那個 = that thing
那些 = those (plural)
那裡 = that place / over there
那天 = that day
那種 = that kind of
I think most of these are occasionally amusing but not problematic. I've been living in Miami and I find that different words in different languages sharing the same spelling are as irrelevant as word meanings changing by adding only one letter. If I were to reply when someone said "Do you like my hat?" with "Hmm, I dunno, if I add an e to that it will spell 'hate'", that would be ridiculous and annoying. Similar with interpreting one language as another.
One of the most used word in Mandarin is '那个' which means 'that' and 'Um...', and it sounds like the N-word.
Another frequently used word is '会', which means both 'is able to' or 'is going to', and it sounds like 'хуй' which means penis. I heard some Russian chuckles when we say this word, though I found that funny too when I realized.
My favourite story about this sort of thing relates to a computer game which was very popular in its home territory (the UK) but struggled when released abroad (Germany, I think?) as its name was a slang term for "rent boy". IIRC this was the game "Midwinter".
For example, 'bubs' is flagged as a partial match of 'boob'. 'bewbs' finds no such match and is deemed safe.
I searched for "fallus" and it gave me a nonsensical answer instead of the "phallus" that I expected.
IMHO A society that can handle sensitivities with good hearted humor is more robust and inclusive than other alternatives.
However the problem often is that you don't know which word to look up in the first place. The possibility to paste a whole text and have it look for "problematic words" would be more useful.
mokkori -> safe!
Uh... hmm... mukkuri -> danger!
Matched "kur," which according to the site is "Russian: penis (Bulgarian)." Not sure if the site is claiming that it's the Russian word for Bulgarian penis or what.
Four is an unlucky number in Japan because it sounds like shi (死 – death). This is why there are two readings for the number four, shi and yon. Whenever possible, people try to avoid using the deathy one.
An example of this was Toyota launching the 'MR2' in France, which phonetically spells out something not very marketable.
Obligatory snowman: https://dro.pm/a.png
Snopes has a decent explanation. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/chevrolet-nova-name-spanis...
In another it means, "no go"
In all languages it means, "smells like gasoline"
CockroachDB is my favorite in tech, and also my favorite example of how tech people and their faux rationality are useless for tasks involving creativity and imagination.
Edit: I think it’s referring to Malaysian/Malayu but it doesn’t pick up a lot of the Malaysian cuss words that I tested on it (like the F word...)
Apparently ford released a car in Spain a while back that sounded like ‘wanker’ in Spanish. Something like Panjero - maybe someone else can remember precisely.
And also Nescafe sounds a lot like No es Cafe (not coffee)
It did recognize 'Sega' as an Italian term for a bout of self-abuse. However, that ship sailed a long time ago.
"aka" -> cha
I'd rather it remains like this, false-positive, than having it false-negative on something bad.
>“ho”, English: prostitute.
>Match inside word, may not be a problem.
Cool, I’ll go with that for my next website.
The site gets it right. Also kiss in Arabic is quite bad
Caused GE to lose the European market for their pocket microwave back in 2009.
Felicity Shagwell is only flagged for 'lik'
Hacker News = Wankers Ech, Whack Sneer, Cranks Whee, Shaken Crew, Neck Washer, Wench Rakes, Eschew Rank, Hawk Screen, Swank Cheer, Her New Sack, He Necks War, Answer Heck, Warns Cheek, Ashen Wreck ...