21-Language Ingredient Label

Back in the US, where we’re from, some people get all bent out of shape that some signs and labels are in Spanish. It never bothered us; we actually saw it as kinda cool. Inclusion of other people is nothing to be afraid of. Well, in Europe, you get lots of signs and labels in multiple languages. In the Czech Republic, pretty much every product label is in at least two languages: Czech and Slovak. That makes sense because the Czechs and Slovaks used to be members of the same country–Czechoslovakia. Companies selling products prudently understand that the more accessible their products are, the more sales they can get. So it is not a surprise to see multiple languages on a label. More languages means more people can understand what is being sold.

This is the European Union, so there is a common market for manufacturers. If you are willing, you can sell to over two dozen countries. Of course, it works best if you can describe your product in as many languages as possible. That’s what we see so many packages with four, six, ten or more languages on them. We don’t know why but the packages with the most labels are bags of chips. Potato and corn tortilla chip bags get their ingredient lists translated into 14 or 17 languages. Here’s the current record holder that we’ve seen. A bag of tortilal chips with ingredients in 21 languages.

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