Why Us – Translation Agency UK
April 4, 2022 | by Crouse Linwood
Why does your company want to communicate in Spanish or another language? To speak to customers at home or abroad? Participate in an expanding global marketplace or explore new markets? Convey product information to Spanish-speaking consumers? Make a presentation to a non-English speaking audience? Strengthen your relationship with an overseas partner? Train Spanish-speaking employees in the U.S., Latin America or Spain?
Maybe you just want to make sure the translation of your ad copy or product name doesn’t prove an embarrassment or even jeopardize your business. Many multi-national corporations have ended up with their brand name or slogan on their faces due to a bad translation. For example, General Motors could not understand why their literal translation of their Nova model did not go well in Latin America. The reason Latin Americans were not buying the car was because in Spanish “No va” means “it doesn’t go”. Companies are faced with a tough challenge when they adapt campaigns to foreign markets. First, you have to translate the product name, which may be meaningless or even offensive in a different language. Then, you have to worry about the product’s slogan, which as the following examples will show, may take on an entirely new meaning.
When Pepsi-Cola entered the Chinese and German markets, to their horror they discovered that their slogan “Come Alive With The Pepsi Generation” came out as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead” in Chinese and as “Come out of the grave with Pepsi” in German. Sometimes it’s one word of a slogan that changes the whole meaning. When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” However, the company mistakenly thought the Spanish word “embarazar” meant embarrass. Instead the ads said “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.” Very funny, unless it costs you money!
A good translation is not the mere substitution of isolated words or phrases, as we often find in literal or machine translations. It is a clear and precise message that conveys the true meaning of the original text. As poorly written documents exist in English, so do bad translations into Spanish. Poorly written translations by untrained Translation Agency UK translators contain grammatical and other errors. No company would want to stake its reputation on poorly written English ad copy for example, so why risk it in any other language?
Language is the means through which culture is expressed, and as such it is imperative to have someone who understands and has been part of your target audience’s culture to act as a bridge to ensure a minimum of misunderstandings and to allow a foundation of understanding and mutual trust to develop. That is why it is important to have the professional translators from Translation Specialists handle your translation needs; people who are experts in the language, including grammar and style and who master the subject area and culture.