If you want your business to reach out to a global audience, the first thing to focus on is your localization and translation efforts. After all, you do want to prioritize ensuring that your content is really easy for your audience to understand no matter which part of the world they live in, right? For many business owners, a surprising majority, in fact, all this means is that they spruce up their knowledge and use of Google Translate.
But is this a good enough solution for your business? Honestly, no. In fact, we do not exaggerate when we say that Google Translate just won’t cut it anymore if you want to take your business spaces on the global landscape. And here are the main reasons why we believe so.
The first and most obvious reason is that with Google Translate you have a one- size- fits- all solution and that is never good news for a business no matter what the task at hand. Google Translate may work wonders for simple straightforward translation needs but it certainly falls short when you have specialized tasks to do.
The problem with the tool is that there is no way for you to tweak the efficacy or detailing on the translation effort. That means you get the same translation for high-end customer switch complex communication needs and for customers who just need to know how to contact you. This can become a big headache for you, especially with content that uses technical terminology or complex terms that are highly product or industry relevant. Not only may Google Translate make an error here; such errors can result in your customers either buying a wrong product from you or using it in a way that is appropriate. If there is any risk arising out of such faulty translation, remember that you are going to bear the brunt of legal issues. That’s not a smart way to work at all.
Small mistakes in translation can result in big losses. Many big brands have discovered this, to their detriment, in the worst way possible. Whether it is fast food chains like MacDonald’s or auto manufacturers like Ford, they have been ta the receiving end of the backlash from poor translation that has decimated their audience in foreign marketplaces. The fact is that machine translation cannot be a substitute for human intelligence and the innate understand that a team of translators has about what is appropriate and practical and what is not. There is no aspect of business where it is more important to bring in human interference in translation than in the marketing side where the communication is directly with your global audience. It just doesn’t make business sense to risk your presence or brand repute in such markets by depending on 100% machine translation that can go awry.
Cultural understanding is yet another aspect that you cannot expect Google Translate to offer for your business. Yet, this is a critical aspect to factor in when translating your corporate message into another language. At times, it may be necessary to come up with an entirely new message that is more culturally appropriate. A good example would be Pepsodent’s brand message that its toothpaste whitens teeth. In South East Asia, people go to great lengths to blacken their teeth and here, this toothpaste would obviously face difficulties if it is marketed with the same message as everywhere else. Only locals with a deep understanding of the prevalent perceptions and traditions will know that the message is not really appropriate for the audience.
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