Avoid costly translation mistakes in marketing

Posted by Audrey Dubois-Boutet on Sep 23, 2010 Sep 23, 2010

Translate server errorIt’s time to take advantage of your global presence and expand your marketing efforts outside your borders.

From 2000 to 2010, global internet use rose by 400 percent! This means you have millions of potential customers surfing the web daily.

And while English is the accepted language of commerce, a translated and localized marketing campaign is a great way to encourage people to do business with you.

But be careful when you translate. Using a legitimate translation and localization service provider can help you avoid mistakes that could alienate your market.

The photo above shows an example of machine translation gone wrong. The translation software failed and gave an error message, but the restaurant in question assumed they had the correct English translation. Needless to say, this translation error went viral online!

The following is another example from ‘5 Steps to Taking your Business Global’ of an error in marketing due to an innacurate translation:

“A famous marketing story says that GM was selling a car in Belgium and had a promotion that touted “Body by Fisher,” except that in Flemish, the ad translated as “Corpse by Fisher.””

Maybe it’s just me, but the words “car” and “corpse” probably shouldn’t be used together in a marketing campaign. It hardly encourages people to hop behind the wheel.

By using a human translator as opposed to machine translation, you are ensuring an accurate translation that not only makes sense, but that keeps the meaning of your marketing campaign.

What other marketing mistakes have you seen or heard of? Leave a comment below!

Topics: Localization, Translation, Marketing