ST. PAUL, Minn. - Officials at McDonald's say they plan on changing two Hmong billboards in St. Paul after a translation error.
Earlier, members of St. Paul's Hmong community said they had mixed feelings about the new billboards in their language.
They said the wording is careless and has a messy run-on sentence. The sign says, "Yuavtxhawbpabraukojsawv yuavntxivzograukoj mus." Loosely translated, it means, "''Coffee gets you up, breakfast gets you going."
St. Paul resident Bruce Thao says the Hmong phrase isn't written the way people talk. He tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press it sounds weird. And Thai Lee says the ad text is missing spaces between words, and doesn't make sense as it's written.
Louis Henry runs eight McDonald's restaurants in St. Paul and Maplewood. He says he hopes the ads will attract Hmong customers by showing them their patronage is valued.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the McDonald's Corporation released this statement: "We strive to reach our guests in relevant ways including the use of in-language messaging. While it was our intention to create a special message for our Hmong population in Minnesota, we now realize that an error was made in the translation of "Coffee Gets You Up, Breakfast Gets You Going." It was not our intention to offend anyone and we apologize for the error. We are working with our local advertising agency to correct these billboards and will re-post next week."