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AIBU to find this Boden ad offensive

(82 Posts)
SkinnyNorris Wed 16-Oct-19 08:33:44

I live in Germany and received the latest Mini Boden catalog. Granted I am an English speaker and come from a country where minorites have a long history of having negative connotations attached to them.
The German word for fist bump is Fauststoß, yet Boden chooses to use the term Ghettofaust, literal translation ghetto fist in this ad. “Ghettofaust für maschinenwaschbares Gewebe”
Please tell me, slang or not, AIBU to feel a way that Boden should have thought twice about using this term.
I wish I could post the picture but mumsnet doesn’t give me this option. This is pg 93 for anyone with the catalog.

Mouthfulofquiz Wed 16-Oct-19 09:26:48

Why don’t you contact Boden about it? See what their side of the story is?

Ohyesiam Wed 16-Oct-19 09:31:03

I don’t quite get what you’re saying. I think I need to se the ad/ speak German.
As pp says, contact Boden. It could be a case of rubbish literal translation from the English that is offensive/ doesn’t work German.

eggofmantumbi Wed 16-Oct-19 09:34:38

I agree, sounds a bit offensive and unnecessary as, as you say, there is a much less contentious word for it

Armadillostoes Wed 16-Oct-19 09:35:53

I think that you need to run this past German speakers in the country where the catalog was published. Even English speakers fluent in German won't have the same insight into how the word does not doesn't play out culturally in their context. In asking an Anglophone audience you won't get an accurate answer (although you might be more likely to get affirmation). It depend what you are after here!

Armadillostoes Wed 16-Oct-19 09:36:40

Sorry-should have read "does or doesn't"

SkinnyNorris Wed 16-Oct-19 09:43:18

Thanks for the replies. I did contact Boden and was simply told that I am confused and this is the German word. I didn’t find that a reasonable explanation because there is a proper German word. The only other German I asked was my husband who basically said it was a stupid term to use but was just another example of the insensitivity that happens here much like Blackface at Carnival that isn’t rooted in racism but rather ignorance. I suppose I will just accept it as that.

Breathlessness Wed 16-Oct-19 09:54:44

If it’s the word most commonly used by Germans to refer to that gesture then your problem is with them not Boden. It is a horrible literal translation.

MadeleineMaxwell Wed 16-Oct-19 09:58:07

I don't love it either, but it's all over the internet. Wikipedia calls it slang, the Spiegel puts it in scare quotes, ZDF is a bit ambivalent.

Fauststoß seems to have more martial arts connotations. So maybe it is the correct term in context, if not politically correct to Anglophone ears!

SkinnyNorris Wed 16-Oct-19 09:58:55

True. But I’ve never heard anyone use that term before. That’s what shocked me, I suppose. In real life I’ve only heard the proper term. My husband says they probably thought it was a cool term. Oh well.

DisappointingBanana Wed 16-Oct-19 09:59:30

Even English speakers fluent in German won't have the same insight into how the word does not doesn't play out culturally in their context

This, exactly. I found this thread interesting as I was reading about transcreation just last night.

I did contact Boden and was simply told that I am confused and this is the German word

They’re missing the point. It’s not enough that it’s a word in the right language, it has to have the relevant and equivalent intent, style, tone, and context as the original.

Breathlessness Wed 16-Oct-19 10:00:16

Unless Boden have a very different profile over there I doubt they were deliberately trying to be ‘edgy’ grin

fruitbrewhaha Wed 16-Oct-19 10:07:43

Boden are probably the least 'edgy' brand I can think of.

MadeleineMaxwell Wed 16-Oct-19 10:11:01

It’s not enough that it’s a word in the right language, it has to have the relevant and equivalent intent, style, tone, and context as the original.

Yes, but it's not necessarily a given that the catalogue was translated in the first place, let alone transcreated (since this is usually rather expensive and catalogues of any price range don't generally want to spend a lot of money on linguistic services IME), or even professionally translated as opposed to machine translated. Plenty of multinationals have their own marketing teams per country.

Germany is IME a much less PC country than the UK. I've heard 'Ghetto' used jokingly and disparagingly of certain districts or personal homes. I'm not a native speaker, but it is entirely possible that this is some marketing exec's idea of fun and youthful language, and that is backed up by wide enough usage in the media.

SisterFarAway Wed 16-Oct-19 10:13:57

I have heard the term used by some family members and friends who are between early twenties and early thirties. Fauststoß has a more "negative" connotation as it is usually used when describing fights or a crime. One example would be "Er wurde mit einem Fauststoß niedergestreckt" which means that someone was hit with a fist and knocked down. This is often found in police reports published in local newspapers.

On the other hand, using the word "Ghetto" for promotional purposes in Germany should always be second and third guessed for very obvious historical purposes.

In this case, I believe, Boden are just trying to get down with the kids.

ravenmum Wed 16-Oct-19 10:15:23

www.mundmische.de/bedeutung/32003-Ghettofaust
It does seem to be in use as a "cool" term; this site says it became popular after it was used on the German version of "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here", and comes up in the hiphop scene.
What is it that you find offensive? It doesn't refer to Jewish ghettos, if that's what you mean.

raspberryk Wed 16-Oct-19 10:16:43

I don't really understand what you are saying but the translation. Back to English is "Ghetto sofa for machine washable fabric" , looks like some potential crossed wires lol

SkinnyNorris Wed 16-Oct-19 10:16:45

Disappointing Banana. Exactly. I just wanted them to understand that it might be a used term but they need to understand how it can come across. There have been other words in this language that overtime had to be changed because of how horrible they came across. For example Negerkuss to Schokokuss candy (Negrokiss to Chocolate kiss) Perhaps I was expecting too much from them to simply say yes I see how this can be insensitive. So I guess I was being unreasonable.

TatianaLarina Wed 16-Oct-19 10:17:10

It happens here much like Blackface at Carnival that isn’t rooted in racism but rather ignorance

Ignorance is racism.

Breathlessness Wed 16-Oct-19 10:17:51

There might be German speakers already questioning whether it’s an appropriate word to keep using. Have a google.

ohdearmymistake Wed 16-Oct-19 10:19:11

Sorry as a none German speaker I'm completely confused, is it the phrase ghetto fist that's the problem? I have no idea what ghetto fist is.

ravenmum Wed 16-Oct-19 10:19:21

I don't think "Fauststoß" means a fist bump, either - that's on dict.cc, which is not a reliable source. My (large professional) dictionaries don't have a translation for "fist bump", and Google examples of "Fauststoß" are all fighting terms, not friendly gestures, as above.

SkinnyNorris Wed 16-Oct-19 10:22:35

ravenmum. Thanks for your reply but the term ghetto these days has nothing to do with Jewish ghettos.

diddl Wed 16-Oct-19 10:24:11

Isn't it Faustgruß?

SkinnyNorris Wed 16-Oct-19 10:24:55

I don’t believe ignorance is racism. To me it simply means not knowing. When you know and educate yourself, then willingly choose to continue a certain behavior then it becomes racism.

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