If 96 percent of customers will leave a brand after receiving bad customer service, how much do you have to lose by providing poor email, chat, article, or social translations to non-English speaking customers?
Here at Language I/O, we’ve made a business protecting medium and large businesses from taking the Google Translate carrot as a short term means to cut corporate translation costs. We’re not doing it because Google Translate and other machine translation (MT) engines are bad. We’re doing it because they’re not good enough. We actually love Google Translate. In fact, it’s one of the best of the six machine translation engines that we use. But…and this is a big but…Google Translate isn’t enough. Neither is Microsoft Translator, or DeepL. Why? Because these are machine engines, not humans.
Specifically, MT can’t account for culture differences, jargon, slang, acronyms, industry terminology, branding and other hard-to-translate content that’s critical for getting accurate translations.
Here’s a few examples of some brands that have learned these lessons the hard way.
In the late 1980s when KFC opened in China, its “finger lickin’ good” slogan was mistranslated to say, “eat your fingers off.” Talk about challenges in translating company branding!
As for missing cultural nuances, Clairol learned a tough lesson when it brought its “mist sticks” to Germany. Unfortunately, mist as we English speakers know it, is German slang for manure.
So the question is, does your business go for free, inaccurate translations at the risk of damaging your brand? Do you pay for a combo of human and machine translations? OR do you get a translation technology that takes the best machine translation engines and makes them better?
If you want to learn more about how we make machine translation magic, contact us here.