Localization Mistakes that Can Spoil Your Business

by Ben Holt on June 5, 2019

The translation and localization process has a huge potential for something to go wrong. From poor grammar or syntax mistakes, there are many companies which have gone wrong with their localization strategy. On top of that, it is not only the money invested in the localization strategy which will be lost but also the brand’s reputation. A translation and localization mistake, even if you use top translation companies, will immediately go viral and break the brand’s credibility. So, if your plan is to localize your business in the near future, keep reading this article and stay away from the below localization mistakes.

Localization Mistakes for Business

1. Word-by-word translation

One of the biggest mistakes that many brands do when they try to localize their business is translating their texts in verbatim form. Your translators should first know who is your target audience and how your buyer persona looks like. Once they got these characteristics, the team of translators should retain the intended meaning even though they don’t use exactly the same words. Apart from asking from feedback locally, a dictionary is most welcome for your localization team.

2. Frequent style errors

It is not only the words that translators have to pay attention to, but also on the style they use. One of the most frequent mistakes that many translators do is not paying attention to the style. They should first become familiar with the target language and understand the message you want to transmit. Thus, when they interpret the document and start translating it, they will be able to follow your style guidelines. When a style error occurs, it is not only the meaning which is altered but also the text’s context. Each word should be translated using the right tone so that the message remains intact.

3. Exaggerating the meaning of words

There are cases when the translator’s desire to impress is bigger than the meaning the text should have. Therefore, they tend to exaggerate when translating the text. Usually, this is evidence of lack of experience, showing you that your translators fail in keeping their excitement under control. The best strategy when you want to localize your business is to keep things as simple as possible. If you are using technical words or terminologies, then you shouldn’t do anything more than stick to them.

4. Wrong words used in wrong places

Unfortunately, it happens that some translators use the wrong words in the wrong phrase and context. The translation is not easy and the pressure of working on a localization project is huge. For example, there are words like Holy Grail which simply cannot be translated in a different language. Here comes the translator’s experience who should be able to identify when he is dealing with a word which is used in its original form across the world. Therefore, the localizer doesn’t have anything else to do but to keep the word as it is and use it in the correct context.

In Conclusion

When a company decides to go global, it is very important to carefully plan its business expansion and localization strategy. Research is the first step that any business should do before they get to work. You will need not only data, but also the right people to be able to localize your website, content, and product information. Each piece is crucial to create a localization puzzle.

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