Join our weekly newsletter.
Articles, news, and ideas.

Languages, people and their cultures.

In need of a translation or interpreting service? Get a 5% lifetime discount now!

How to Fix Your Business After Having a Translation Fiasco

Translation Fiasco
How to Fix Your Business After Having a Translation Fiasco
on April, 24 2014
Translation Fiasco

Image credit: Bust of Homer at the British Museum by Clayton Perry from Canada under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

More businesses are now reaching global audience. In doing so, they make sure that their marketing campaigns are translated in different languages. This allows more people to appreciate the message of their campaign and eventually patronize their products or services. No matter how many or few the words involved in a marketing campaign are, it is important for each word to be carefully translated. The message must not be lost along the way. Sometimes, the slightest mistakes could turn into a translation fiasco.

For instance, in 2009, HSBC Bank had to rebrand their campaign after the tagline was not translated well in various parts of the world. Its catchphrase “Assume Nothing” was translated as “Do Nothing” in many countries.

It might have been a simple mistake, but it cost the company millions of dollars. Though the chances of a huge fiasco happening are low, it is still possible. This is true especially if you have not hired experts to deal with these translation issues. Thus, if you wish your business to immediately pick up after the problem, here are some things that you need to do:

• Quickly apologize for the mistake and launch a new campaign. This time, make sure, there will be no translation errors. You can also be witty in making excuses so that people will just let it slide.

• Launch a different campaign with a different focus. In doing this, you will divert the attention of the people from the previous campaign that ended up with a failure into something more exciting. They will most likely make people look forward to see what is in store for them. Go for massive discounts, give away freebies, or host a charity event. This will clean up the image of your company.

• Don’t let anything be published next time unless they were thoroughly reviewed. Whether it is for print ads, social media campaign or television commercials, everything has to be reviewed carefully. This will ensure that the same mistake won’t happen again in the future.

• Find a better translator service. Previously, you might have hired the wrong company to help you out. Worse, you might not have even sought for help at all. This is why the campaign totally failed. If you want to end up with the best results, you need to let experts handle all the translation details of your ad campaign.

• Move on and give more attention on improving the service of your company to the people. This will compensate for the mistake that your company has committed. They must feel that there is more to your company than the embarrassing translation mistake.

It might be difficult for you to pick everything up once the damage has been done. However, anything can be fixed as long as you start thinking of more creative ideas. Remember, as the cliché goes – time heals everything. When more exciting and scandalous news comes up, people will most likely forget what happened. Just be on the down low for now until your business fully recovers.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

Join our weekly newsletter for articles, news and ideas

In need of a translation or interpreting service? Get a 5% lifetime discount now!