Many multinational companies around the globe utilize some type of professional translation service in order to help them deliver the same message to each audience. Other companies view professional translation as an unnecessary luxury, with no room for it in smaller operating budgets. They feel that there are more important things to spend their money on. If these companies don’t enlist any sort of professional help with their translations, however, there are often financial repercussions.
Google Translate is easily the most widely-used of the free, automated translation services available. Favorite of high school language students and penny-pinching business professionals alike, Google Translate is known to produce awkward translations that frequently miss the mark.
The Repercussions of Poor Translations
As humorous as these terrible translations are, we all know people and companies that routinely utilize automated translation services like Google Translate for their business translation needs. If Google Translate can’t even be relied on for simple phrases like “I love Sweden,” just imagine what it would deliver if given a more nuanced or complex task.
The repercussions of such mistranslations are rarely a laughing matter for such companies, however, and they could also see any of the following repercussions:
Loss of Sales
If companies have significant mistranslations when it comes to their products or services, they can certainly expect a loss of sales. Customers won’t know what product or service the company is actually trying to sell them. In many cases this loss exceeds the amount that an initial investment in professional translation would have run.
Crisis of Confidence
The last thing companies want to do is drive away new customers by surrounding themselves in a crisis of confidence. If a company can’t even manage to properly translate the language surrounding their products or services, what does that say for the quality of the products or services themselves? Such errors can signal a lack of quality and dedication to customers, who will quickly take their business elsewhere
Even well-established brands stand to lose from egregious mistranslation. If a company has managed to establish itself within another country, this typically serves as a signal that the company should have a thorough understanding of its languages and cultures. In many ways, failure to fulfill this expectation can have a more detrimental effect than that suffered by less well-established companies.
Spend a Little More, Make a Little More
Budgets are naturally restricting, but if some companies don’t alter their approach to translation they will ultimately lose more than the amount of an initial investment in translation through lost revenue. The entire purpose of a company doing business in different countries is to expand their market. Investing in a professional translation service can make this possible. Utilizing professional translation services ensures the localization of your brand around the world in a way that automated translation simply cannot.
Image credits: 10 Inexplicable Google Translate Fails
Kate Wilson is an avid reader and writer of all things language. Since completing her studies in English and Modern Standard Arabic, she has continued to exercise her passion for language through her blogging. You can read more of her writing on her blog at JetFeeds.com, where she writes about everything from foreign language acquisition to urban gardening, or follow her on Twitter @kateowilson.