McDonald's apologizes for Hmong faux pas

Sept. 5, 2012 at 6:24 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. fast-food purveyor McDonald's has apologized for its awkward Hmong language wording on two billboards hawking its breakfast menu in St. Paul, Minn.

"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,'" Gregg Miskiel, marketing director of McDonald's Midwest region, said in a statement.

"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."

The billboards erected last week were believed to be the first time McDonald's had ever used the Hmong language to reach out to its customers. But the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Hmong speakers said the translation butchered their language, fusing words together and using improper syntax.

The St. Paul area is home to more than 64,000 people of Hmong descent, the largest concentration in the United States.

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