With the regulations coming into force right now, at the end of December, European food retailers are potentially unprepared for new labeling. We’re worried some businesses will try to skimp on the translations without realizing the consequences.
Don’t be that business. Do it right the first time. Whether you use us or another language service provider, just translate your packaging professionally the first time.
Considering that they have been told they are buying “apricot kernels” all this time, Chinese consumer groups were appropriately upset. Of course, 40 years ago, when almonds were first exported to China, the importers just used a dictionary and there were at least 3 different names used. The most common was “apricot kernel”. As John Talbot, Vice President of Global Market Development for theAlmond Board of California told brandchannel, it is crisis management, not brilliant marketing that they face with this rebranding.
Finally, a lament that all of us who love to mock mistranslations can do better. Including us: We’ve gotten things wrong. For example, we wrote in this blog that Electrolux poorly translated a slogan to read that “Electrolux sucks”. Actually, that didn’t happen.
And we’ve learned, too, that KFC did not mistranslate their chicken fingers as “eat your fingers off”. One we got right, and that really prompted us to do our research and dig a bit deeper, was that the California Dairy Board did not mistranslate “Got Milk?” In fact, they did exactly what every good marketer should do, and they researched the language and culture they were translating into (in this case, Californians of Latin American heritage) and got it right. Unfortunately, Daniel Freedman needs to correct a few of his facts over on Moz.com. Otherwise, though, we agree with him wholeheartedly about knowing your audience and making sure to get translations right the first time.
It’s important. When you don’t research your audience, and their language and culture, you risk loosing customers.
Make 2015 the year you slow down, take some time to research your target audience, and translate professionally…the first time.