Mistranslation: McDonald’s ‘Adult Cream Pie’ Causes Uproar in Japan

Mistranslation: McDonald's 'Adult Cream Pie' Causes Uproar in Japan

McDonald’s Japan has caused a flurry with its introduction of a salacious-sounding dessert dubbed the ‘Adult Cream Pie’ to its menu.

Its name, in Japanese, is Otona no Cream Pie. Otona is a word often used within the Asian country’s sweets industry to describe treats that are less sweet than regular brands.

However, the name combination which translates to Adult Cream Pie, for English speakers, holds a rather different connotation.

The food-chain’s choice of words has led some to question whether it is a lost-in-translation moment, and if any English-speakers were consulted in the naming of the dessert.

Social media users have reacted with a range of humorous gifs, and comments questioning the fast-food chain’s rationale.

One Twitter user wrote: ‘Gotta love Japan, where they censor porn and have creative products names like this’.

Meanwhile, another gave the marketing team an 11/10 for its efforts and said he planned to buy a cream pie once it was released.

However, an advertisement for the sweet treat, appears to indicate the creatives behind its naming may have intended it to be a play on words.

An accompanying advertisement for the cream pie adds to the innuendo around the sweet treat’s name.

The video, features a young woman, alongside an older woman, questioning whether the cream pie is ‘really that delicious?’

Her elder responds, by grabbing her face, and saying; ‘if you eat it once, you’ll be filled,’ before the two jump into a cab and ask to be taken to the nearest McDonald’s.

Intentionally or not, the dessert’s name is less likely to draw the same sense of salaciousness among the non-English-speaking Japanese members of the population.

As while the word ‘otana’ when translated literally into English does mean adult, it is not always used in the same sense in Japan.

In Japan the word for adult, when used within the adult entertainment industry context, is ‘adaruto’.

News outlet, Sora, said the new dessert, which costs (US$1.37) was part of McDonald’s Japan’s efforts to turn around the unprecedented deficit it grappled with in the first half of the last decade.

It has been working hard to increase its popularity with fast-food lovers, including bringing out a range of new burgers, collaborating with local brands, and it even went so far as to open up a pop-up restaurant with silverware, tablecloths and wine glasses.

The ‘Adult Cream Pies’ are due to go on sale in Japan from Wednesday for a limited time only.

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