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By Amy Houston | Senior Reporter

November 29, 2022 | 3 min read

The campaign sheds light on the art of mistranslations and says they are valuable lessons when learning a new language.

Language-learning app Duolingo has opened a ‘Museum of Wonky English’ in Harajuku, Tokyo, and is giving mundane phrases that have been mistranslated new and surprising meanings.

In one, viewers see a coffee pot with a sign next to it reading: “When coffee is gone, it’s over.”

As well as the in-person event and hero film, Duolingo is inviting people to share their own mistranslations on Twitter, with the best submissions being exhibited in the museum.

Andrés Aguilar, associate creative director at UltraSuperNew, said: “Why do mistakes have such a bad rep? They’re the unsung language-learning heroes, and we wanted this campaign to settle the scores. There’s a treasure trove of meanings you can only access when lost in translation, and that’s what we wanted people to experience in the Museum of Wonky English.”

Credits

Client: Duolingo

Japan country manager: Sho Mizutani

Vice-president of marketing: Manu Orssaud

Director of regional marketing, Asia: Haina Xiang

Creative director brand and marketing: James Kuczynski

Director of social media and influencer: Katherine Chan

Agency: UltraSuperNew

Group account director: Yumi Esposito-Pueblo

Group creative director: Francois Claverie

Associate creative directors: Andrés Aguilar and Oguzcan Kaganoguzbeyoglu

Copywriter: Nobuaki Nogamoto

Art director: Sayu Fujii

Designer: Belle Sim

Strategist: Isobel Walker

Producer: Alex Watanabe

Content planner: Kazuki Chito

UI/UX designer: Yerai Zamorano

Gallery coordinator: Alex Schmidt

Contributors: Jinshi Itomi and Asumi Yamayoshi

Production

Director: 古川原壮志 Takeshi Kogahara

DP: 石田遼 Ryo Ishida

Gaffer: 神山啓介 Keisuke Kamiyama

Art design: AKI

Sound: 尾居土祐大 Yuta Oido

Grading: 山田祐太 Yuta Yamada

Music: Tommy Zee

Producer: 大澤康久 Yas Osawa

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