That nasty Kodak!

Due to the global influence of the English language, they often adjust local languages to the former one. For example, a Russian football team Fakel («Факел», which means «torch» in English) was renamed into Fiery Force for international competitions, because its original name in Latin transliteration resembles an English four-letter word. But, the team retained its original Cyrillic name for domestic competitions. Well, such examples have been numerous throughout the world. However, there ain’t so many cases of English-speaking people, adjusting themselves to local languages. I consider it my duty to inform the honorable public about at least one example of a company originating from an English-speaking country, whose name sounds funny in Kazakh.


Famous manufacturer of films and cameras – Eastman Kodak Company – is notable for its short name, which is easy to pronounce. Perhaps, this is the case for the majority of the world population. But, here in Kazakhstan it sounds rather funny. First of all, it strongly resembles an obscene word qotaq («қотақ»), which means «penis» in Kazakh. I don’t think that this resemblance gives rise to pleasant associations. To make the things worse, the household name Kodak bears certain resemblance to qodyq («қодық»), which means «baby donkey» in Kazakh. Well, that’s the burden of a multinational company, which has to think globally, act locally. But, predominantly friendly Kazakhs ain’t going to kick up a fuss about the name, which sounds so funny.

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