We’ve all seen it before: a website launches in English and Spanish, but the Spanish version is rife with bad translations that seem computer generated. It’s an easy and understandable failing. The computerized world promises us more than it can deliver, but we gullible lot are all too willing to take the computer at its word. If we put in some English and it puts out something we don’t understand, well it must be a translation, right?
It’s a common mistake, but treating language translation as an afterthought is one of the most costly mistakes a business can make. Lack of attention to this detail can cost your business its foreign market, not to mention the damage it can do to your non-English-speaking domestic market. There’s a very basic rule in business communication: Can’t Read, Won’t Buy. There’s also a subordinate rule: They’re not laughing with you; They’re laughing at you.