TMEP 809.01(b)(i): Foreign Terms Appearing in English Dictionary

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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809.01(b)(i)    Foreign Terms Appearing in English Dictionary

It is generally unnecessary to provide a translation of a foreign term if the term appears in an English dictionary (e.g., croissant, fiesta or flambé). However, if a term that appears in the English dictionary appears in a mark as part of a foreign idiomatic phrase or other unitary expression, a translation of the idiomatic phrase or unitary expression is required. It would be illogical to break the phrase into its individual word elements and to translate only the individual words that do not appear in the English dictionary. Such a translation would serve no useful purpose because it would not convey the true commercial impression of the phrase.

Example: If the mark included the phrase “la fiesta grande,” an appropriate translation would be “the great celebration” or possibly “the great fiesta.” It would be inappropriate to translate only “la” and “grande.” The ultimate goal is to provide a translation that reflects the true meaning of the non-English wording in the mark and the commercial impression made by the entire phrase. See TMEP §809.02 regarding equivalency in translation.