How poor translation can cost your business.

Home » News » How poor translation can cost your business.

How poor translation can cost your business.

Posted on

In an increasingly connected world, the right communication is vital in both personal and professional fields. While growing globalisation is giving us more opportunities to form links and relationships across the world, one thing that is crucial is ensuring that communication is seamless, and with that usually, comes a necessity of translations into other languages.

There are many forms of translation that are readily available in everyday transactions, notably, Google Translate. However, services like this may be actually be hindering you rather than helping. While using translation tools shows your commitment to foreign clients or colleagues, it may be costing your business in ways you haven’t considered.

Problems of instant free translation tools

  • Translation tools cannot capture language nuances such as rhetoric or sarcasm
  • Often translations are word for word, creating a very literal response which is often wrong.
  • You cannot capture emotion; leaving your translation cold, formal and unfriendly
  • Metaphors and similes do not translate well and can lead to cultural misinterpretations
  • It does not read like the spoken language; it is disjointed and used to capture essence rather than the full text.

In the case of Google Translate, they admit to offering an 80% accuracy. They work well if you want to understand the basics of a piece of text, rather than get an accurate translation that is not only grammatically correct but culturally relevant and more importantly, not offensive. However, these tools are not a professional service and could end up costing your business in the long run.

Ways poor translation can cost your business

  1. Mistakes are unprofessional

When conducting business, mistakes can be crucial. A poor translation in a quote or proposal, for example, gives across a poor reputation. If you can’t get a piece of text correct, how can a business trust you with their important project?

To be taken seriously, you need to show that you are committed to customer excellence and that means a professional service, with no mistakes that could’ve been easily avoided with a professional translation service.

  1. Technical errors

In some scenarios, a poor translation could have significant repercussions. If you are producing safety literature, and the translation is poor, you may lead the user into grave danger. This not only could be fatal to the reader but it could result in substantial costs, and you may be sued for damages.

  1. Culturally relevant

A good translation will take into account cultural aspects of the language it is being translated into. If you are trying to portray a particular image or service, then it is important to tailor your approach to your target audience. A correct translation will help you to cross the cultural divide and make your tone much more appropriate for your audience.

This could be the difference between a market accepting your brand or rejecting it out of hand.

Other hidden costs of poor translations

As well as theses points, other costs include;

  • Wasted time correcting errors
  • Loss of credibility and brand power
  • Lost sales
  • Administration costs
  • Offence and damaged relationships.

Quality translations grow your business


Make sure you protect and grow your business rather than hinder it with professional, high-quality translation services. Find out more by clicking here.