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 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.