Poor translation could harm your brand

Globalization opens doors to new possibilities for businesses. More and more companies are crossing borders trying to catch up to international markets. This, however, does not mean that cultural and linguistic barriers are broken too. In fact, these barriers, if not approached carefully, could harm business’ reputation if not prevent future expansion on the market at all.


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One of the most notorious examples of a poorly translated slogan could be KFC’s “finger-lickin’ good” which was translated into Chinese as “eat your fingers off”. Needless to say, the slogan was not well accepted by potential customers.

Such mistakes usually happen due to a simple reason: use of a machine translation or automated translation service.

Machine translation is getting more and more popular nowadays. Electronic dictionaries have become more and more sophisticated and their quality improves over time. This, however, does not mean that these services could substitute works of professional translators. Quite contrary: employing an experienced linguist is a must if you are looking to convey a business message properly and reach potential clients in foreign markets or multi-language communities.

Such companies as McDonald’s use a very proactive approach to translation ensuring their slogans and marketing materials are always localized to suit the market they operate on.

In order to avoid potential mistakes, a competent translator’s services should be employed. Using a free automated translation service might be Ok for understanding a general meaning of a phrase or a small text but is not a good substitute when accuracy and quality is important.

At DocsBase USA, located in NYC, we professionally translate personal and business documents, texts and marketing materials from and into 140 languages. Our translators are native speakers of target languages who can always ensure that even jargon will be translated accurately so that a potential client will be influenced by a product or service.

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