Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lost in Translation


Walmart Employee: "Hello 'dis Walmarts, how can I help you?"
Suzanne: " I would like to order a cake for a going away party this week."
Walmart Employee: "What you want on the cake?"
Suzanne: "Best Wishes Suzanne" and underneath that "We will miss you".

(Source: email from a friend)

I could not stop laughing when I read that dialog and saw the picture! :)

Have you heard about the phrase "Lost in Translation"? Well, if this "lost in translation" occurs between people who are communicating with each other using the same language (in this case English), just pause for a second and imagine all that may get "lost in translation" in a message when there's an actual translation from one language to another (for instance, from English to Spanish or vice versa)!

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How many times or cases have we seen or heard when the translation does not properly address the target market? To remedy this situation, when translating your English website to Spanish, choose a partner that has expertise on that business. Otherwise, the added sales and profits from a Spanish language website could be lost.

Having your English website translated to Spanish requires the consideration of colloquial phrases and grammatical interpretation that is unique to an area. Many machine translation services will produce a generic result that gives the basic idea but misses the finer points. By using a language translation website that provides personalized service with individuals who look at each word and phrase, the smaller details are considered and the translation is focused on the targeted market. Spanish idiomatic expressions are not consistent across Latin America. Sometimes a small misinterpreted phrase or message can cause a potential customer to reconsider completing a business transaction.

So remember, as a small business owner who gains sales through the Internet, a good question to ask is whether translating your English website to Spanish will increase your sales potential. Most likely the answer will be yes particularly if the services offered by a reliable language translation website are employed.

For more information: Identifying your audience and delivering localized web content


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