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How Translation Compaines Can Keep Your Business Out of Trouble!

Did you know that HSBC, one of the leading banks in the world, had to bear a tremendous amount of loss and spend a whopping $10 million on re-branding due to a small mistake in translation?

HSBC, back in 2009, had the tagline of “Assume Nothing”, and as the bank has a global presence, they had their tagline translated in several global languages to make it relatable to one-and-all throughout the globe. There, the problem occurred! The tagline “Assume Nothing” was translated as “Do Nothing” in many languages – which was obviously not the goal or the word to spread.

Following this huge blooper, the company had to ‘do something’ and hence, spent $10 million to re-brand itself!

Brand Reputation at Risk:

Even a two-word translation error like this can create a huge impact on the reputation of your brand in the mind of the consumer. These mistranslations might seem hilarious, but are not at all laugh-worthy, as this is a serious matter when it comes to the reputation of your brand or company. 

Additional Costs:

Along with the brand value damage, a poor-quality translation can cost your company way too much monetarily. A few bucks spent on getting the accurate translation from a linguist, specialized in your domain, can save your company from huge losses and a damaged reputation.

Cultural Issues:

While marketing your company in a different geographical area by promoting yourself in a regional language, all you want is new business and poor translations or mistranslations can cause you a lot of issues. Even the name of your brand can mean one thing in your language and totally different in another. Translations with appropriate cultural reference or Transcreation, which is a combination of the translation done with keeping the cultural references in mind and keeping the same emotion intact, can be useful to combat the cultural issues.

Miscommunications:

When you are getting something translated in a language that is unknown to you and you are also not familiar with the region or the culture of that language, if the translation is done poorly, it can cause a lot of miscommunication. These miscommunications might be caused by a tiny issue, but the repercussions of the same are huge.

Different countries use different date formats, e.g. USA uses MM/DD/YYYY, China, Korea and Iran use YYYY/MM/DD and the majority of the countries in the world use DD/MM/YYYY. Say you are marketing your product in a new country and you are launching the product on 9th November 2020, a person in the USA would write the date as 11/09/2020 and the same date will be written by an Indian as 09/11/2020. If the translator is translating the marketing material from US English to Hindi, and he doesn’t have any idea about the correct use of date format, in the Indian market, your product will be marketed as it is launching on 11/09/2020 (11th September 2020). Something as basic as a date format mistake in your translation can cause your whole marketing campaign to go south.

Accurate translation is something that you have total control over, and any negative publicity of your company or to put your brand reputation on the line for something like basic errors in translation just doesn’t make sense! Language Service Providers or translation companies, as you call them, have various linguists who can understand the linguistic nuances of both source and target language and are experts in a particular subject matter and hence they can provide you with the best translation without these errors, keeping your company and your brand reputation out of trouble.

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