Mistranslation - Businesses open as usual

Error in Translation Equals Downside In Business

Wouldn’t you hate it if you find out that potential clients are not lining up in front of your door not because they think you do not provide quality services and whatnot, but because the sign outside your door, in a sense, says that inquiries are not welcome? This is one thing that poor translation could do to the business that you’ve worked hard establishing and operating. A simple sign, if not corrected, could make all your efforts go downhill.

The English phrase that reads, “Businesses open as usual” was wrongly translated in Welsh as “snooping closed as usual.” Others who have tried translating this have come out with “pry normally closed.” This is so different from telling potential customers that your business is open, don’t you think?

Translation is not just a word-translation task. We have to remember that a word could have several meanings. As such, when included in a phrase, we have to determine how the word was used. Doing so will help us properly identify the thought behind it and thereby be able to correctly translate it. Otherwise, we might end up with a phrase composed of a jumble of unconnected words that do not make any sense at all. For this reason, it is essential that when doing translations, especially when the same involves projects that could have a great impact on those using and reading them for guidance, the help of someone learned in both of the languages involved should be employed. The job cannot be entrusted to someone who would do a sub-standard job especially when there is so much at stake.

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