• alysiafletcher

Lost in Translation

Updated: Mar 5


Marketing your company’s products in a new market can be quite a big step. Translating your marketing material, brand or product names is a lot more than just a literal "word for word" translation. Culture differences and meanings have to be taken into consideration as the slightest mistake could cause offense and have a huge effect on your company’s reputation.


Many businesses before have experienced problems when expanding into foreign markets as they have failed to understand the desired market audience and culture. Culture, cultural symbols and religion are all important aspects to consider when cross-cultural marketing.


For example, when Pepsi’s popular slogan “Pepsi Brings You Back To Life” translated into “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave” in Chinese. Not only a bit much for a non-alcoholic drink but culturally, it was an insult.





Another example of a translation gone wrong is when the California Milk Processor Board translated their “Got Milk?” campaign to “Are You Lactating?” in Spanish.

This may seem like a funny mistake to you and I, but a lot of money is put into these marketing ads, thousands or millions maybe… Luckily for them, it was caught on time. Otherwise, it could have been a huge mistake!




"Know your audience" - A basic business principle that even we know.


A translation carried out by a native speaking professional who cares and who will research and point out any culture specific words or phrases is vital for your company’s international success. Not all marketing words or slogans will be as successful in the new market as it was the first time round…






To avoid unnecessary time wasting and huge losses checking translations and cultural nuances we recommend you contact our team of professional native translators and interpreters for more information on our services: alysia@asftranslations.com



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