A few months ago we posted an article called “Worst Translation Blunders in Business,” which listed some legendary translation mistakes. While a few businesses may get away with some laughs here and there, for most, poor translation and localization is synonymous with losing face, customers, profits and sometimes even the entire business.
Several years ago, Global Information Management provider, SDL International, conducted a survey, which revealed the negative impact inaccurate translation and localization can have on international companies. It showed that an astounding 80% of the global companies surveyed experienced lost revenue due to translation and localization issues. A further 40% of the respondents stated they have had to delay product launches because of mistranslations, and 7% claimed they had received fines by local governments for non-compliance as a result of translation errors.
Naturally, businesses want to make a fast market entry and cut costs; but by bypassing proper translation and localization, companies are exposing themselves to even higher financial, not to mention, image costs. Large, multinational corporations often have the means to recover from their translation blunders; however, for small and medium-sized enterprises, it may very well lead to their demise.
As Chief Marketing Officer at SDL International, Chris Boorman warns: “being first to market is pointless if you cannot communicate with your audience…it doesn’t matter how loud you shout – if you’re speaking the wrong language, you simply won’t be heard.”