Hey, mone aster ene emtel/frigidaire!

Even today, it does happen that people use the word “Emtel” instead of “mobile”. Just like Emtel, there are a few other brands which are wrongly used in the everyday life of loads of people :

Despite that the guy uses another mobile operator, he might still say : “Prend mo numero emtel” lol.

Another example :

“Hey, tire sa depi FRIGIDAIRE

“Frigidaire” is definitely not the creole equivalent of Fridge or ‘Refrigerateur’. Many might ignore this, but Frigidaire is in fact, a make, one just like hundred others.

But as usual, we Mauritians, we tend to invent our own words, and this raises something in my mind : The ‘official creole vocabulary’. Word Creation/Interpretation/Translation? That gives food for though.

Yashvin, pages of my life

Anyways, coming back to the topic, this is nothing new.  Correct me if I am wrong, but this is somewhat related to “Cannibalization” in the marketing jargon. Briefly, cannibalization here is a situation whereby a product benefits from the market share of another product (by getting better sales for example) while the initial product gets no added value. In our example, the words “Frigidaire” or “Emtel” are used to refer to other different products at the expense of the real brands, i.e. “Frigidaire” and “Emtel” get nothing in return.

1. Do you come across people using these words?

2. Have you any other examples which you can quote?

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52 thoughts on “Hey, mone aster ene emtel/frigidaire!

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  1. This is not cannibalization.

    This is mainly due because a brand is so strong that it has become synonymous with the whole industry.

    Google mem ti p rode protege li a ene certain epok. Pa ti ler zte servi Google comment ene verbe.

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  2. 🙂 Basically whoever makes the biggest name [usually the one who comes first gets tagged 🙂

    1 ta dimoune dir emtel :D.. et kan mo pense emtel normallemdent mo pense sa bann gro telephone portable longtemp la avec gro lantenne la

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  3. The famous one in our family is the use of the word “Kodak” when referring to any camera – p.ex. a tu pris ton Kodak.

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  4. si mo dire ‘paa, tone garde poule la dan refrigerateur?’ banla pu gagne mwa francoise.

    zot conne ene alternative name nu kav dire refrigerateur en creole?

    Frizider FTW!!!!

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  5. In marketing, it’s one of the first-mover advantages. Just like the iPad and iPod nowadays, although not the the same extent.

    Product cannibalization is when your own product eats another of your own. E.g. Kodak’s digital cameras making Kodak’s own older cameras obsolete. For Kodak’s case, they have no choice!

    Another example is people assuming that Internet Explorer is how you go on the internet… which is so irritating sometimes.

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  6. YOPLAIT

    And in France its Danone. its not a mauritian ‘creole’ thing. Its international and we are not stupid or weird because of that. As long as people understand its ok for me! and there’s no other word for frizider. fridge in english and refrig…. is french so whatever, im still using frizider lol and so ARE YOU YASHVIN lolll 😉

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  7. omo

    walkman

    shoprite (Trianon Shopping Park)

    jumbo (Centre commerciale Phoenix)

    Plume parker ( poo too ban plume avk l’ancre)

    pentel (too dimoon conner ki eter pentel)

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  8. @Akhil: Interesting links. Thanks!

    Here’s another one shared by a friend :
    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/fr/wiki/Antonomase

    Une antonomase est une figure de style ou un trope, dans lequel un nom propre ou bien une périphrase énonçant sa qualité essentielle, est utilisé comme nom commun, ou inversement, quand un nom commun est employé pour signifier un nom propre. Certaines antonomases courantes finissent par se lexicaliser et figurent dans les dictionnaires usuels (« une poubelle », « une silhouette », « un don Juan », « un harpagon », « un bordeaux », « le roquefort », « le macadam » etc.).

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  9. Delo vital for mineral water

    For my personal experience to al laboutik to deman ene bouteil delo vital, they’ll give you what ever mineral water comes.

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  10. JCB (which moreover many pronounce JEE-CEE-BEE instead of JAY-CEE-BEE) which is instead called a backhoe loader (tractopelle in French). Some call it excavateur, but its neither called that way.

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  11. @Akhil:
    Wai, bien dire!
    Just like “catapilar” is generally used for tracked excavators, which originates from Caterpillar, the famous brand for heavy civil engineering construction / earthwork equipment.

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  12. kleenex instead of mouchoire en papier – this is a reference world wide pas ke morice ki ena sa ban kaliter zafer la . like googler le mot. ou customiser un truc. Continent instead of Jumbo.

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  13. ipad pou tou ban tablets pc
    playstation pou tout ban gaming console. (XBOX, WII,etc)
    lcd pou tou ban zaffaire ecran plat (LED, LCD, PLASMA)

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  14. Ayo sa enn ta ena sa.
    Emtel, Frigidaire, Kodak, Yoplait, Dahi, Vape, Caterpillar, Jeep, Tupperware, Tempo..

    As for me mo ankor dir ki mo p al fer enn tour Continent. kan linn sanz nom sipa komye ku. Par kont mo tifi li dir li p al Jumbo.

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  15. Dont agree with you. The word Frigidaire is widely used in France to specify a Refrigerateur, same applies to kodak. Mauritians are no different.

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