Spain’s Eco Future is Bright!


This ad pains me on so many levels I’m not sure where to start… Roughly translated as: “It’s name is the BioExplorer Insect Spy: Developer of Future Eco-Responsables” – I can’t even translate ‘eco-responsables’ but I guess the meaning is obvious – as the last line says, Suena muy cientifico, “Sounds very scientific”…

Sounds more like “very optimistic” to me – putting poor butterflies etc in small plastic tubes wouldn’t be my first approach to saving the planet, but who knows, good luck to ’em!

There is more to say, but I shan’t. Comments welcome.

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21 Replies to “Spain’s Eco Future is Bright!”

  1. It actually says:

    Its name is “BioExplorer Insect Spy” because “Developer of Future Eco-Responsables” sounds too scientific

  2. If a butterfly flapping it’s wings can cause a huge chain of events, maybe stopping one could just save the planet. Stopping farmers having bonfires of straw and tree prunings might just have more effect though.

  3. Note: boy is enjoying an intimate moment with nature upon multiple layers of concrete. One of my buddies said Spain has the least green space / parks of any country in Europe. I personally wouldn’t pay any attention to this ad, although now that you’ve called my attention to it Ben I am getting a chuckle out of the deep irony.

  4. It’s not even “Eco-Responsable”, it’s “Ecor-Responsable”. I suppose maybe there’s a Spanish phonetic reason for needing to double up the R there, as I can’t think of any Spanish words containing “ore”; they are all “orre”.

    Also, it’s not plural, so I think that eco-responsible is an adjective, not a noun. I’d translate it as, “Developer of an eco-responsible future”.

    Still dumb, but I wouldn’t say it “pains me on many levels”. Is the captivity of the butterfly one of the things that annoys you? Isn’t it better to magnify the butterfly when it’s alive and clearly going to be released when the “microscope” is lifted better than killing it and putting it under a real microscope? I admit that “because it sound Scientific” is a terrible reason to do anything.

    I love the Mandelbrot Imaginarium logo.

  5. Nobody has yet commented on the fact that “bio-explorer insect spy” is a sort of English. Handy for giving products that special air of…what, exactly? It’s hard for English speakers to know what it is that English imparts here, because it doesn’t work on us…it just sounds utterly retarded.

    I am reminded of the american ice-cream brand, Häagen-Dazs. Those umlauts give it that special gloss of europeanness and nordic sophistication. What does it matter that “Häagen-Dazs” means nothing in any known language?

  6. @Erik R: oremos, oreja, more (de morar), oregano, etc.
    The reason why there is a double r is because the r in responsable is a strong sound, so if you add a sufix (eco) you must add an extra r to have the right sound in the word. So it is ecorresponsable, no hyphen in it.

  7. Erik, actually it means “Developer of a future eco-responsible person”. More or less. Not that it means much in Spanish either (I’m madrileña).

    Regarding the use of English for names and brands, etc, yes, it is stupid but does sound cooler to a non-English spaker. Having said that, now that I speak some English, it has the exact opposite effect on me. Especially when there are misspellings, gramatical mistakes and plain awkwardness. Which is often. One would think they’d hire a native English speaker to come up with those, but no, why would they, no-one will notice!

    This brings me to the notices in the metro about the additional fee one has to pay to get to the airport. Is anyone else bothered by them?

  8. What’s the problem with the “It sounds too scientific” part of it? I think we all are having problems with language (you understanding the ad and me understanding you hahaha) What it sounds too scientific is the name… It’s just that they chose a name for a toy instead of the other one…
    Apart from that I don’t think we can’t take this ad as an example of what spanish people think about ecology, it’s just an ad. I agree with Eric that it’s better to do it with an alive butterfly than to kill them to have a look at them (wich is what they used to do).

    Regarding the use of English for brands etc I’ve always thought it was quite stupid but it seems to sound better for many people. It’s a very used technique in advertising (not only with English but also with French and perfumes for example)

  9. Too scientific implies we must dumb down our marketing, and that annoys me. Imaginarium is a store franchise in my parts of the US, where the target audience are young parents with too much discretionary income or credit and throw money on anything as opposed to investing effort and time, to achieve results with their children, such as taking the time to open their minds to sound science and its real world applications.

  10. I understand what you mean. But, don’t you think that it’s not that important. It’s just an ad and if you think about it, it’s just the same as if I said: ” You shouldn’t say What’s up! to the queen, it sounds too informal” …

  11. :Facepalm:
    “Suena muy cientĂ­fico”
    Esto me da vergĂĽenza ajena, el anuncio este, sinceramente

  12. My translation is:

    Its name is ‘The Bio-Explorer Insect Spy’ because ‘Future Enviro-Concious People Promoter’ sounds too scientific.

    Some observations I could make could be about the spelling mistake (ecorResponsable), the lack of green spaces in Spanish towns, leading on to the lack of creepy-crawlies (do Imaginarium sell plastic bags of them at a reasonable price?), attitudes towards said animals and creepy-crawlies…

    But I think I’ll stick with ‘sounds too scientific’ which sums up the general attitude in Spain; scientific and engineering jobs which pay the famous 1000 euros a month (supermarket warehouse workers earn more), postgrad researchers in universities earning little or nothing and not allowed to put their name to articles they write for scientific magazines, people needing to emigrate to find a job…

    Spain needs to decide what it’s going to be to get out of this crisis. If it wants to be the European China it might as well cut the education budget because all it’s doing is training up young people at enormous cost only for them to leave the country.

    If it wants to base its economy on high-value goods then it needs to change the attitude in the country; just try going to a bank to get finance for your new brilliant idea. You might as well say you’re going to build a block of flats or open a bar or a hairdressers as you’d have more chance of getting the money. This change needs to come from the top, but the government decided to cut the R&D budget for next year.

    That’s my take (rant) on it.

  13. Dan, I fully agree with your rant. But you forgot to mention the general lack of consideration in most companies (especially small ones) for the potential of their human resources -it’s all about getting them to accept low salaries and work long hours rather than focusing on learning & development, promotion of valuable employees, retaining well-trained people, motivating them, attracting talent, etc. Sad, really. But this affects the workforce too. They are guilty of compromising and generally giving up hope. All people want here is a secure job (and salary), rather than a challenge or an interesting role where they can learn something new and improve their CVs. This is, obviously, generalising, but still. It tends to happen and I think it’s very sad. That’s why brave, smart, restless people, the ones who like CHANGE and therefore EVOLUTION, leave the country. It sure is a shame.

  14. But, ecorResponsable is NOT a spelling mistake. It’s a made-up word but it makes sense that the r becomes double so that the sound remains a strong r. I think your translation, BTW.

  15. But, ecorResponsable is NOT a spelling mistake. It’s a made-up word but it makes sense that the r becomes double so that the sound remains a strong r. I like your translation, BTW.

  16. I’m pretty sure you can stick an accent in over a vowel in the word so the stress remains the same place, but there may be more than one way to skin a cat.

    Completely agree about work. I’m also guilty of making do with any old job in IT to carry on working (and therefore living in Spain) which worked well enough until about six months ago. I have to say that the training given at the start of every project mentioned in interviews was a week hitting Google to read up on whatever it is while my new workmates ran round like headless chickens trying to hit a deadline.

    So now I’m back having interviews (not enough unfortunately), and one of the first questions is ‘what are your expectations with regards to your salary’ before you even know what the job is about, what skills are needed, and therefore how valuable you are to the company.

    I’ve also got another interview set up which sounds like it’ll be more promising, but only because I know someone who knows someone…

    I think a lot of problems were hidden by EU funding and credit, and now both are drying up they’re more evident again and unless there’s a real change then things are going to drag on like this for years.

  17. “Putting poor butterflies in small plastic tubes”… damn, whoever would say that the butterfly is dying instead of just being studied…

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