what a car is called and what it means cross culturally
singapore is a multi racial and multi cultural state. people speaks different languages and dialects, in particular the chinese. and words can mean different things when spoken in different language or dialect. what a car is called often becomes the brunt of the jokes. sometimes it is more than a joke. nissan cefiro is known in cantonese as si fei loh, or damn fat bloke. nissan bluebird, in hokien is lan cheow chia. not very pleasant when translated. what the heck. it means penis car. suzuki is never favoured by the gamblers when in the gambling den, casino or in the turf club. it means lose everything in hokien. no businessmen or people involved in the stockmarket would want to drive a suzuki. maybe that is the main reason why the car is not selling well among the chinese. i think it also affects nissan bluebird. what car are you driving? oh, lan cheow chia! the malaysian proton saga became potong sala, a reference to a wrongful circumcision, cutting the wrong thing. not too bad actually. better than the nipple red joke that was linked to the car. now volkswagen has joined the circus. it has a new car called touran. too lan in hokien is prick the prick or meaning fed up. so it is a too lan chia or fed up car. manufacturers of cars better take note of what the names of their cars meant to the locals in different countries.