Vending machine fails at translation

The vending machine. Source: Twitter @waikatoreo

A vending machine with a poorly translated phrase written across the top has upset people in New Zealand.

The Coca-Cola Amatil vending machine has the slogan ‘Kia ora, Mate’ written across the top. While Kia ora is a common greeting in New Zealand, the to reo Māori translation of ‘mate’ means death.

Gareth Seymour who was in the Auckland International Airport when he saw the machine, told SBS that ‘Kia ora e hoa’ would be a more appropriate greeting as it means ‘hello friend’.

“Even a Māori-speaking school kid would notice the mistake. The moral of story is – if you use it there are ways of doing it right,” Mr Seymour said.

Coca-Cola Amatil NZ said in a statement that the two words were “only meant to bring Maori and English together”.

“In no way was the ‘mate’ in reference to any Maori word, that would have been inappropriate and unacceptable,” the statement said.

“Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand is proudly Kiwi and respects and embraces all aspects of Maori culture and any other culture.”

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