;   Medical Translation Insight: Why won't alleged advertising blunders die? - ForeignExchange Translations

Why won't alleged advertising blunders die?

Why won't alleged advertising blunders die?It's been a couple of years since we wrote about Chevy Nova and other global marketing myths.

Since then, I must have seen dozens of lists of supposed examples of translated product names and slogans that are said to have offended and/or confused consumers. A recent example is here (nothing against the good folks at AGM).

Many of these are demonstrably wrong. So why do people (translation service providers no less) keep talking about these "myths"?

I can't say for sure but my guess is that it's mostly an attempt by translation service providers to distinguish themselves from the competition and to tout their own superior quality.

Is this effective? Hard to say. But because translation companies can't objectively prove that they're output is consistently better than whoever supposedly created these linguistic atrocities, it may be a hard sell with clients.

It wouldn't surprise me if the message actually back-fired. If a prospect sees this kind of marketing, wouldn't many of them naturally ask "OK, so how do you make sure that doesn't happen?".

If you don't have a convincing answer (one, ideally, that goes beyond the industry chorus of "we have 10,000 translators and have separate editors and proofreaders"), prospects will assume that their work is just a typo away from being added to the list of advertising blunders.


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1 Comment:

  1. Publicat said...
    Probably they don't die because some are true. In the AGM list, as a minimum, I can assure you that "Vuela en cuero" (more often "en cueros") means "Fly completely naked" in Spanish. To be left "en cueros" also means to be left without a dime. About "No gotear√° en tu bolsillo dej√°ndote embarazado" falls in the false cognates' trap. "Embarazado" means "pregnant" in Spanish.

    Carlos Villar (Villar Publication Services)

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