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Avoid Translation Humiliation! Product Success Begins with Localisation

Avoid Translation Humiliation! Product Success Begins with Localisation

Incorrect translation of food and drinks labelling can produce some highly entertaining results. How often have you purchased random supermarket item on holiday just because it’s called something like ‘gentle plant juice’? Funny it may be but errors in labelling can also be misleading and even dangerous. If a label does not make sense to its target audience or the cultural significance is totally lost then the product will inevitably fail. Label the contents of a product incorrectly and you could induce allergic reactions due to intolerances and have lawsuit on your hands.

Mistranslation: what’s the worst that could happen?

Food and non-alcoholic drink exports saw a 3.56% increase in 2014 but international success with a product can only be reached by appreciating the cultural and linguistic differences between languages. Localising translations ensures they are familiar and therefore appealing to the target audience. We call this process transcreation. Specific brand content must be recreated and helped to resonate similarly in the target language. A brand name in one language might mean something totally different in another language and plenty of big companies have made the mistake of neglecting to use top quality consumer product translations services – with catastrophic results. For example the American Dairy Association launched its “Got Milk?” campaign in Spanish countries where it was translated into “Are You Lactating?” When first marketed in China, Coca-Cola’s brand name was translated as “Bite the Wax Tadpole.” And finally when Mercedes-Benz launched their brand name as “Bensi,” in China it was translated as “rush to die.”  Don’t let the same mistake happen to your company or brand.

Why Global Voices?

Global Voices is an expert in consumer product translation services in the food and drinks industry with expert mother tongue linguists who are required to have three years’ experience. Localisation is the process of adapting a product to a language while taking into account the culture and exact desired impact for the audience.  A hotel in Canberra recently offered a ‘grilled Moroccan Aborigine and rocket salad,’ a faux pas that could have been easily avoided if localised translation had been used. At Global Voices we have a record of 98% delivery on time and are committed to our policy – ‘mistakes don’t leave’ the office so you can rest assured the accuracy of your translation is guaranteed.


Global Voices Ltd. (Head Office) – Scion House, Innovation Park – Stirling – FK9 4NF – United Kingdom –


Tel. 0845 130 1170 –    info@www.globalvoices.co.uk –   www.globalvoices.co.uk

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