A Bad Translation can Harm your Brand

A Bad Translation can Harm your Brand

Globalisation and internet growth have opened the doors for businesses into international markets allowing businesses of varying sizes to cross geographical frontiers. This doesn’t mean all barriers are broken as there are cultural and linguistic issues to deal with too.

The successful marketing of a brand means translating a powerful marketing message into the languages of potential buyers. The translations must be so good that the product appears attractive to buy.

Taco Bell a fast food outlet franchise based in California tried to move into the Japanese market recently and this did make the headlines but not because of the products it was advertising but because of the way Taco Bell had performed its translations. One example was the translation of crunch wrap supreme one of Taco Bell’s famous products. The way it was translated into Japanese it came across as ‘Supreme Court Beef’ and cheesy chips came across as ‘poor quality chips’ There was also a wrong translation regarding the ingredients of Taco Bell products and the expression “We don’t have anything to hide” emerged as “What did we bring here to hide?”

A spokesperson later stated that the company had used an automated translation service and it seemingly had done quite a lot of damage to Taco Bell’s image. If this had been completed by a professional German translator who could also handle translations from English to Japanese this translation blunder would not have occurred.

McDonald’s has been more proactive in its approach to translation and product marketing ensuring that the core principles are maintained while localizing its language and product range to suit the local market. A competent English German translator would have been used for product marketing for MacDonald’s in Germany.

So as to minimize mistakes a competent German English professional translator should be used when undertaking product marketing. Using free online translator tools like Google Translate might be quick and seem easy but it is not a good substitute when accuracy is important. It’s likely to lose the professional image of your brand.

A native human translator can be of considerable use to the company who wants to accurately market their brand without the potential buyer being misled. A professional translator will ensure all the jargon pertaining to the product is accurately translated so that a potential buyer can be influenced to buy the product.