For any company wanting to compete in today’s global marketplace, accurate translation and localisation is essential.

In fact, inaccurate translations and poor localisation can potentially cost businesses thousands – if not millions of dollars in lost revenue. Even one word incorrectly translated can lead to product recalls and legal issues. Read on to find out why.

Incorrect product labeling

Imagine if a product is incorrectly labeled – with instructions, measurements or ingredients incorrectly translated. Not only could the mistake cause human endangerment, it could cost a company thousands, if not millions of dollars in product recalls.

For example, Mead Johnson Nutritionals had to recall thousands of baby food products because the labels had been translated incorrectly from English to Spanish. If the products had been prepared according to the mistranslated instructions, the products could have contributed to renal failure, seizures or even death. And if the products had not been recalled, Mead Johnson would have faced even more serious consequences in the form of government fines, legal expenses and serious damage to their reputation.

Evidently, minor mistranslations can have serious consequences – but an accurate translation in the first place would have avoided these issues down the line.

Inaccurate localisation

Localisation involves taking a product, service, brand or message and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to your target market. A successfully localised product or service is one that appears to have been developed within the local culture and is well accepted by its audience.

A product incorrectly translated – or localised – can result in products being used incorrectly, leading to law suits. Non-compliance with local governments can lead to fines, and poor translations can lead to either ridicule or offence. For example, when Coca-Cola first launched in the Chinese market, the name of the product was first translated “kekoukela.” Depending on the Chinese dialect, the phrase translated to either “bite the wax tadpole” or “a female horse stuffed with wax.” Realising their mistake, Coca-Cola changed the character to “kokoukole,” meaning “happiness in the mouth”. While Coca-Cola had the money and power required to correct their initial mistake, other smaller companies might not cope so easily.

Hiring a good translation service provider

For some small to medium sized companies, the cost of a mistranslation could mean the end of a promising business venture. For this reason, companies should enlist the help of a translation firm specialising in the localisation of business advertising and logistics – ensuring an accurate end result, the first time.

WorldLiterate specialises in providing expert translation services for businesses in the export, import, marketing, tourism… With a team of professional, trained language experts who can translate Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Korean, French, German, Portuguese, Hebrew and more, we can take care of all your localisation and translation requirements. If you need accurate language translations delivered in a timely professional manner, just read more about us or contact us to find out how we can provide the language translation services you need.