Brand recognition is a critical element of success for any company today, both home and abroad. That target audience includes more than just those who speak English. Foreign language-speaking customers also evaluate your brand based on the material you’ve provided in their languages. To ensure you maximize your investment in translation and avoid embarrassing translation errors, here are three ways to help you effectively reach all of your prospects.
1. When searching for a translator, find one that ensures the use of professional translators, along with a quality-control process to guarantee that your translation is accurate.
2. Your translator should understand your goals, your markets and your clients to provide the best possible strategy for your translations. This approach can save you money and frustration in the long run.
3. If you have qualified, native-speaking staffers, let them have input during the translation process. They may be able to provide valuable insight into terminology that best represents your company.
Notorious Foreign Language Disasters
Ignore these tips at your own peril. Check out what some companies did in translation below.
* The American Dairy Association’s (ADA) huge success with its campaign, “Got Milk?” prompted it to expand advertising into Mexico. It was soon brought to the ADA’s attention that the Spanish translation read: “Are you lactating?”
* When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather, first-class seats in Mexico, the slogan “Fly in Leather” was translated as “Fly Naked” in Spanish, a very literal translation.
* Kellogg’s had to rename its Bran Buds cereal in Sweden when it discovered the name roughly translated to “burned farmer.”
* Pepsodent tried to sell its toothpaste in Southeast Asia by emphasizing that it “whitens your teeth.” The company later learned the local natives chew betel nuts to blacken their teeth because they find it attractive.