Kinder Egg Linguistics: An Update

The global effort to map the world of Kinder Egg warning messages continues…

This page used to feature my ever-expanding collection of translations of the Kinder Surprise warning message. This reads, in English, as follows:

WARNING, read and keep: Toy not suitable for children under 3 years. Small parts might be swallowed or inhaled

The message is found on a sheet of paper inside the egg that looks like this:

I’ve long been fascinated by the amazing variety of languages that the warning message is translated into. At the 2017 Boring Conference I gave a talk on ‘The Linguistic Politics of Kinder Surprise Eggs’. In 2018, I recording an episode of the BBC Boring Podcast series, called ‘Kinder Egg Linguistics’. I managed to commission audio recordings of the warning message into more languages: Biblical Hebrew, Cornish, Croatian, Serbian, Irish, Luxembourgish, Maltese and Welsh.

During lockdown in 2020, I began to commission dozens more translations and posting them on this very page. Then, towards the end of the year, I began working on a book about language that takes the translation of the warning messages as its starting point.

The book is called The Babel Message: A Love Letter to Language and will be published by Icon Books in November 2021.

The Babel Message by Keith Kahn-Harris cover

The book is much more than a list of translations! But obviously the translations are a major part of it. I have now moved the translations that appeared on this Medium post to a dedicated page on my website. I also created a number of additional pages that delve further into the complexities of the warning message.

I am still actively seeking new translations, so if you can supply one, check the list of translations as well as my wants list to see what I am currently looking for. Feel free to contact me.

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Now, as we isolate from each other, is the time to obsess, to dream, to wonder, to fantasise. This is a place to share those mental wanderings.

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Keith Kahn-Harris

Keith Kahn-Harris

Professionally curious writer and sociologist. Expert on Jews and on heavy metal — interested in much more. For more about me go to http://www.kahn-harris.org

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