International marketing blunders are legendary — and they show that even the most reputed corporate honchos can stumble when they take their campaigns beyond familiar waters.
Take the example of soft-drink giant, Pepsi. When the conglomerate tried to introduce its tagline “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” in China, the translated message apparently read as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.”
In another instance, the famous “Got milk?” slogan of the California Milk Processing Board was interpreted as “Are you lactating?” when it was launched in Mexico.
These blunders highlight the need to get translation right the first time in the globalized world. And here are a few easy ways in which you can make sure that the translated material is error-free:
- Never, ever rely on app translation or other web based translation services for your business translation
App translation or other web based translation can be beneficial in case of translating incoming message, but they should never be used for translation of outgoing data. For instance, you can opt for an app translation to get the gist of a message posted by a visitor on your social media page. But you can’t use the same to translate the reply that you want to post on the social media. You need to hire the services of a professional translator to accurately translate the reply before posting.
- Never assume that all native speakers are good translators
Would you ask just about anyone to write your marketing copy? No isn’t it? The same applies to translation.
Translation is a specialized job and it needs the services of an expert. Hence never lower the bar for translation and opt for someone who is an expert in the target language.
- Never avoid translation agencies
Yes, a third party service provider may not get to know your company as well as a single individual could. But they are more likely to have access to state-of-the-art resources and qualified translators, which can go a long way in churning out better quality at a faster turnaround time.
- Provide enough information to the translator
Opting not to provide adequate information about the project is considered as the biggest sin in translation. Hence provide a through briefing about the project and let the translator or the agency know where the document will be published, who will read it, what the goals for the text are, as well as other basic information related to your preferences and style guides.
- Never, ever skip the editing phase
Writing is subjective in nature and it is always better to have a second pair of eyes to check the authenticity of the content. Hence always opt to have at least one round of revisions by a trained professional.
And finally, you can also run a test with a small section of the target audience to make sure that the marketing message is received well.
How we can make a difference?
Besides having access to state-of-the-art technology and in-house team of expert translators, we have a developed a strong network of translators, consultants and localization professionals who are experts in their native languages.
We listen, learn and diligently work with customers to understand their needs and provide custom-made solutions that fit their unique requirements. While, the comprehensive internal review processes that we offer, ensures that we deliver the highest level of accuracy in tone, relevance and context.