Korean Air lost in translation
Nairobi, Kenya – When Korean Air announced its non-stop flights from Korea to Kenya on Monday, it posted a notice on its website describing Kenyans as indigenous people full of “primitive energy”, sparking a flurry of angry Tweets and Facebook postings.
Head of Public Relations for Korean Air in Kenya, Muthui Kariuki said that the notice had been removed from the website and that the word “primitive” was a result of a mistake in translation from Korean to English. Kariuki said the airline, which is supposed to launch the thrice-weekly flights on Thursday, will post an apology.
According to reports on Huffington Post, Kenyans expressed their anger on social media.
“An insult to a nation. Kenya doesn’t have primitive people,” posted a Twitter user who identified himself as George Njoro.
Kenya is a regional hub where passengers can connect to flights to other countries in the region and in Africa.
It is said that a Multinational corporation like KAL didn’t bother to have a professional Korean into Engish translation. Just one word can make a big difference, so we need a professionally trained Korean translator
especially in advertisements. Translation requires cultural sensitivity as well.