Comical Ads or Mistranslations?

February 17, 2017

The World is becoming increasingly global as the use of technology increases  and evolves. This means that more businesses large and small are creating international partnerships, targeting international consumers, or maybe even opening up locations in new countries. It is a very exciting time, and with that we need to keep in mind that communication is key in taking your company global. You want to make sure that what your company is saying is what the consumer or company is hearing.

 

There have been many instances in which someone has communicated with someone of another language and thought they may have been giving them a compliment, but in reality was offending them. One small letter change in a word could mean a world of a difference. Even some of the largest international corporations have fallen into the trap of mistranslation. For example when Chevrolet came out with a car named “Nova” sales were horrendous in Mexico. Nobody understood why this car was selling fine elsewhere, and was failing there. It turns out that “no va” in Spanish means “not going”. The consumers of Mexico were not impressed by a car that was not going to move. If Chevrolet had taken the time to pay attention to the translations of their message they could have saved an entire segment of their market.

 

KFC, the popular fried chicken fast food establishment, has also made a very similar mistake. They advertised that their chicken was “finger licking good”, while the translation they advertised in China read “We will eat your fingers off”. It was a very comical advertisement to look back on, but I don’t know how many customers would want to go to a fried chicken restaurant that promises to bite their fingers.

 

This is how easily one mistranslation could affect your company, and maybe even create a widely spread joke about it in a foreign country. Don’t let one small word or misinterpretation get in the way of your business. Use Bare Bones Translations to make sure you get your message across clearly, and take advantage of the global market. Bare Bones Translations is a very reliable and will make sure you don’t make a fool of your company in other languages.

 

 

Call or email us today for a custom quote at (512)571-2296 or info@barebones-translations.com. We look forward to working with you!

 

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