ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Though the company says it intended to create a special message for its Hmong customers, McDonald’s is now apologizing for two new billboards in St. Paul.

McDonalds admits it made an error when translating the message: “Coffee gets you up, breakfast gets you going.”

But the message was lost in translation. Members of the Hmong community said the phrase wasn’t written the way people actually talk in Hmong.

The billboards were missing spaces between words and, according to community members, simply didn’t make sense.

In a statement released last evening, the company says it did not intend to offend anyone. It’s now working to correct the billboards and re-post them next week.

On Wednesday, McDonald’s released this statement:

“We strive to reach our guests in relevant ways including the use of in-language messaging. While it was our intention to create a special message for our Hmong population in Minnesota, we now realize that an error was made in the translation of ‘Coffee Gets You Up, Breakfast Gets You Going.’ It was not our intention to offend anyone and we apologize for the error. We are working with our local advertising agency to correct these billboards and will re-post next week,” said Gregg Miskiel, marketing director of McDonald’s Midwest Region.


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