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Lumia - Spanish for prostitute?

The Nokia Lumia are well designed, sharp looking Windows Phones. With sleek curves and vibrant screens the Lumia 800 and 710 are head turners. But could Lumia's Spanish translation mean something else that might be a head turner?

Apparently, the term Lumia is the colloquial term for prostitute in Spanish. Much like "call girl" and "working girl" are colloquial terms in English.

Lumia isn't the only product name that may get lost in translation here lately. Remember Siri?  The personal assistant Apple introduced with the iPhone 4S? It turns out the Japanese translation for Siri means "ass" or "buttocks".

The Nokia Lumia Windows Phones are impressive but does it matter that some Spanish customers may get a chuckle about having a "prostitute" in their pants pocket? It's gotta be better than iPhone users who speak to their "buttocks" for assistance.

Source: Cnet, Technolog Thanks goes out to Jacob for tipping us on this!

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Reader comments

Lumia - Spanish for prostitute?

47 Comments

I'm Spanish, and I don't know in other Spanish-speaking countries, but in Spain "Lumia" means nothing, never heard of it.First thing that comes to my mind when I read "lumia" was "light", since it's very close to the latin root for it, which is used in many common words "luminosity", "lumen"

I agree. I never heard of that word, much less that it means " prostitute. Just curious as to which Spanish speaking country they are talking about.

I read years ago that the Chevy Nova didn't sell well in Mexico because "Nova" supposed to translate into "it don't go." Is that true or some urban myth? Not the sale of the Nova but the other thing. :)

Either way, it was proven just to be an urban myth, can't recall where though, but I read two different articles about how it actually did sell quite well.

Hmm...I am from New Mexico US. I have deffinitely heard this word, but I cant remember the context. If it means prostitute, its probably from our neck of the woods. Mexico Spanish, NM Spanish, and TX Spanish is ALL different! lol

Hi, Danielgr.I'm also from Spain and I deeply regret to say you that, yes, "Lumia" means "prostitute". Search it in a dictionary. It has nothing got to do with "luminosity" or "lumen".

Well, I guess it will do very well since prostitutes get around...so we will use it in that context.

Good, it will come in handy when I visit spain next year.....I'll be able to find just what I'm looking for.Yours Truly,Lonely American Guy Seeking Spanish Girl

Well, if it means prostitute, then some people would associate it with bi*ch. So that could mean that all people who have a Nokia Lumia 800, have some hardcore bi*chez in their pants which kick "Siri-s" :D

Just like Danielgr I'm from Spain too. And no, "lumia" doesn't mean prostitute for me. The first thing that comes to my mind is light, since it comes from latin.However I did check the official Spanish language dictionary, and it does show lumia as prostitute. Maybe it's an old meaning of the word that is no longer used.

I don't know about this. You'd figure that Nokia's own Blanca Juti, a marketing VP, would've caught this if it were a real concern.This might just be a whole lotta nada.

As mentioned before, no one here in Spain but the Royal Spanish Language Academy use the word "lumia". Somehow, I doubt that its octogenary members are interested in smartphones.

In Venezuela it doesn't mean anything, never heard of it.It might be in the dictionary of the RAE but nobody uses it.

Lumia I believe also means WORLD in Romanian.. but no one seems to care about that do they. If it's the Romanian version, it's quite cool.. Nokia World.. It's a Nokia Windows Phone World. I like it.

I don't know about that. It has been benchmarked to be right up there with the dual core heavy weights. The only thing some what inexcusable is the lack of FF camera. And perhaps a bit more storage. But seriously, 16GB on board plus 25GB Skydrive should be more than enough for most.

Lived in spain in a couple of different regions (Galicia and Valencia) and never heard of it either.I think that to anyone who speaks a latin language Lumia reminds immediately "light".

Yeah, I guess no Spanish-speaking person really knows the meaning of this word because, and I quote, "Lumia is the COLLOQUIAL term for prostitute in Spanish." Just like **** isn't generally used for 'happy' anymore nowadays.

Before launching a product for worldwide distribution, companies should first check if the product's name means something else in local markets.The following example for spanish language:Mazda Laputa (the w_h_o_r_e) , Nissan Moco (snot), Mitsubshi Pajero (wanker)

I'm Venezuelan, I live in Panama City, Panama been around a few Latin American countries and Spain and never heard Lumia.Now according to the RAE (Real Academia de la lengua Española) Lumia means prostitute, it also says of unknown origin so they don't know why it appears in the dictionary, its infrequently used or not in use anymore.So they don't know the origin of the word, it is not used anymore so its meaning by the book its irrelevant.

Well it could be planned name and it might have you cheat on your iPhone, though I think the clash of "local" words and products is not a huge problem. In Japan nobody has joked or connected the dots saying that Siri is related to the word "butt." What that might be is that the term is "oshiri" and that not all Japanese are good with romanji.

I'm Dominican, and I've never heard any Spanish-speaking person I've interacted with or seen on TV/heard on radio use this word.

While some have commented here that the Japanese terms for butt is shiri (pronounced "she-ree")--which is correct--and that is different than Siri ("C-ree" or "sih-ree") the Japanese don't have the phonetic equivalent to the "si" sound in Siri in their language and would generally prounounce it as "shi" ("she") instead.
 
Thus when spoken by a Japanese person who doesn't have a grasp of English pronunciation would say shiri, which does mean butt. (The O in Oshiri is just the honorific (polite) way of saying it, and the O is not a part of the actual word for butt).
 
Like anybody cares... I just thought I would share...