4 Most Common Translation Mistakes That Businesses Make


As of 2016, English is only the third most widely spoken language in the world. So, if your business is planning to sell products/services worldwide and you are not translating your product materials, you may be missing out on at least 73% of your target market. Even if you’re targeting foreign-language speakers within the U.S, using translation services can put you ahead of the competition. A study by Word Bank Limited found that when consumers were faced with a choice of buying two similar products, 73% were most likely to purchase the one that was translated in their own language. In order to fully engage your foreign audience, it’s important to avoid the following mistakes while using translation services.


Using machine translation

It’s tempting to use machine translation since it’s perceived to be the quickest and cheapest method. Nonetheless, it can cost you more than you think. While this method may offer a satisfactory solution for simple sentences, a human translation is a must in order to obtain the best accuracy for more complex statements. More often than not, machine translation will create humorous and sometimes incomprehensible language. This will inevitably confuse your audience and may even mislead or offend them. This is not a risk your business should make as it may damage your brand’s reputation.


Utilizing an Employee

Knowing that machine translation isn’t the best solution may lead you to the next cheapest alternative: using an employee that speaks the required language. Although the results may seem sufficient, if your employee is not a professional linguist and is not immersed in the day-to-day culture of the target market, the precision needed for your product materials may be compromised. Choosing a language service provider that is certified and provides native language results, creates a high quality and sustainable solution for your company. Getting the translation right the first time as well as the rest, is what we aspire to do at Exact Communication, as it will allow for consistency over the rest of your translation projects.


Not Planning in Advance

Waiting until the last minute is risky. It could make it more difficult to coordinate the job between

time zones, if needed. Additional fees could also be added to meet your accelerated needs. Moreover, It’s important to factor-in time to review your translation so that updates to the content can be made. At times, a discussion of terms may also be required beforehand in order to factor in the proper and desired message. Language is complex and requires proper discussion to achieve a successful outcome that will uphold your brand.


No translation strategy

Failing to consider your translation strategy upfront, before engineering your products, and creating your packaging and materials, may impair your ability to create your documents in such a way that will allow for the ease of translation and formatting. For example, if the formatting of your written word documents includes text boxes or graphics, there may be challenges in translation if the target language takes up more space than English. Also, if you have chosen to use slang or idioms to jazz up your marketing, translating them may be difficult. You may not be able to convey the same meaning in another language. These are all things you should take into account before creating your translation strategy.


If your business has been a victim of these common mistakes, we can help! Choosing Exact Communication is the best solution to get your business translation where it needs to be to present your market with the quality it deserves. Give us a call at (801)381-9506 to obtain more info.