Korean Air lost in translation

2012-06-19 08:57

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Nairobi, Kenya - When Korean Air announced its non-stop flights from Korea to Kenya on Monday, it posted a notice on its website describing Kenyans as indigenous people full of "primitive energy", sparking a flurry of angry Tweets and Facebook postings.

Head of Public Relations for Korean Air in Kenya, Muthui Kariuki said that the notice had been removed from the website and that the word "primitive" was a result of a mistake in translation from Korean to English. Kariuki said the airline, which is supposed to launch the thrice-weekly flights on Thursday, will post an apology.

According to reports on Huffington Post, Kenyans expressed their anger on social media.

"An insult to a nation. Kenya doesn't have primitive people," posted a Twitter user who identified himself as George Njoro.

Others questioned whether the mistake was an intentional marketing gimmick.

"Now everybody knows Korea Air is coming to Kenya. Nice marketing strategy," tweeted another person using the Twitter handle of Komboste.

Kenya is a regional hub where passengers can connect to flights to other countries in the region and in Africa.

A number of international airlines operate from Kenya including Air India, British Airways, Emirates, KLM, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, South Africa Airways, Swiss International Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic.

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