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Why we care so much about translation quality

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We all have heard multiple stories about mistranslations that let us enjoy the bright side of misinterpretation, cultural misunderstanding and even the use of machine translation tools. People enjoy mistranslations so much that they share them all over the internet.

Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave

If I would have to pick my favourite story of translation gone wrong, the one that always comes to my mind is Pepsi’s slogan ‘Come alive with Pepsi’ which for the Chinese market was translated as ‘Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave’. One can see the connection between the two phrases; however, I fail to understand how this was approved. But what happens if you are on the other side and you find your product or brand on one of these “funny translation” sites?

A lot of the mistranslations featured on these sites are for signs and menus in shops and restaurants. Most of these establishments will not be too worried as they chose to go for the machine translation option and the mistranslation will have very little, if no, impact on their businesses.

However, most businesses want to make sure that these blunders are never associated with their brand. That’s where professional translation steps in, so that money invested in research, product developments and marketing will not go to waste when launching in new markets. The companies who care about these aspects are the ones who come to us – not to translate their brand in other languages, but to recreate the brand in other cultures.

Being a part of the Global Lingo team, we live our brand and would be extremely disappointed if it was distorted in other languages and cultures. So, why would we allow it to happen with anybody else’s brand?

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