OK. I know that their names were not conceived for the Spanish speaking public but for the anglo-saxon market but the US has a large number of Spanish speaking population that most marketers want to tap.
At the same time, we are in living in the "internet era", "global world", "the world is flat moment", etc., etc., what has made the process of branding a bit more complex. That is the main reason why some companies are using more often "naming services": agencies that mostly work on names, focusing on all the possible meanings a name can have in several markets.
These examples are cases where those services have NOT been used and the names selected have horrible connotations or meanings in Spanish.
Webon is pronounced EXACTLY like Huevón or Güevón, that in Spanish, depending the country means stupid or lazy (in just two small countries in Central America means something good, as in Nicaragua and Honduras huevón can mean "brave", but for all the rest of the Spanish speaking, huevón is an insult).
Now, Webon (the product) is a new service from Lycos, that aims to provide among other thing a blog-building service. I am not sure about others, but as a native Spanish speaker I do not want to have a blog that includes in its url the
world word webon. Sending that url to friends and family that are also Spanish speakers would be like asking to be teased.
This is one site I really like. To be fair, the name is in fact MoCo Loco and MoCo is for "Modern and Contemporary". The site is focus on design: Nice site, nice products, all very stylish and presented with great taste.
But the worst example (or the best one depending how you look at it) is no doubt...
(Sigh). What can I say? This was the title of a posting at Gizmodo.
iAno apparently is an application to convert your iPhone in a piano. Problem is that "Ano" in Spanish means "Anus". So iAno does NOT sound good, no matter what. I don't care what the application can do, it still sounds horrible...!
These are not isolated cases. There are many (many) more to showcase. I promise I will, but meanwhile if you have something to share, please send it this way!