One of the most common types of marketing translation mistakes is the direct translation of a company’s name or tagline. While a word can mean a lot in the original language, a poor translation may make your document difficult to read or may use inappropriate language. It’s easy to spot marketing translation mistakes online, but how can you avoid them? Here are some examples of common mistakes in marketing translation. Using an outdated, offensive, or confusing phrase can ruin your company’s reputation.
Another common mistake is using machine translation, which has led to some embarrassing marketing blunders in countries where the language is not widely spoken. Pepsi, for example, mistranslated its slogan to “Every car is a high-quality body,” while Ford mistranslated the Chinese version to read “Pepsi will bring dead ancestors.” Despite this embarrassing translation error, the company attributed the error to a technical problem and apologized to customers.
The same goes for other common mistakes in marketing translation. Using machine translation can result in embarrassing mistakes, especially in new language regions. For example, Ford mistranslated “Every car has a high-quality body” to appeal to the Belgian market, while Pepsi accidentally translated “Pepsi will bring your dead ancestors back” to appeal to Chinese consumers. Facebook even blamed the mistake on a technical error.
Another common marketing translation mistake is using the wrong language. In 2009, HSBC Holdings, a UK-based financial institution, had to spend $10 million on a mistranslation of its slogan. As a result, the company was forced to expand its “Assume Nothing” slogan to several languages. This is an unfortunate example, but it highlights the need to make sure that translations are accurate and sensitive to local cultures.
A marketing translation mistake in a new language region is embarrassing. In 2009, Ford, a UK-based financial institution, mistranslated “Every car has a quality body.” Likewise, Pepsi, a Chinese financial institution, mistranslated “Pepsi will bring back dead ancestors” in its Chinese-language slogan. Unlike other examples of marketing translation mistakes, the most common type of marketing translation mistake is an omission that can be easily rectified.
Marketing translation mistakes can be embarrassing. For example, Ford mistranslated “Every car has a quality body” in Belgian French. In China, Pepsi mistranslated “Pepsi will bring back dead ancestors” to a foreign language. And Facebook’s “Assume Nothing” slogan was translated “assume nothing” in the Chinese language. The results were embarrassing and it cost the company tens of millions of dollars.
In one of the most common marketing translation mistakes, a company will fail to reach a large audience. Having a product or service that is unreadable in one language can turn a business into a laughingstock. A wrongly translated name or phrase will hurt a brand’s sales. For example, Pepsi’s name was originally translated as “Pepsi brings back ancestors.” This mistake can cause huge damage to a brand.