Translation mistakes can really have a negative effect on your business and brand and you might end up losing customers if you do not invest enough time and money on the right translator for your business.
Here are ten translation mistakes that have proved costly for companies and organisations across the world:
1) German doctors did not fit knee joints properly when they did not get the translation right for a medical device.
2) In 2004 patients who were being treated for prostate cancer in a French hospital were given fatal overdoses of radiation when the hospital did not use a translator to translate the instructions.
3) A translation mistake on the video game Call of Duty instructed Japanese gamers to shoot dead all of the Russian soldiers instead of talking to them (frustrating!)
4) Translation mistakes can also come when the culture of a country is not taken into account by the translator. Colgate brought out a toothpaste in France called Cue – which is the name of a pornographic magazine in France (awkward!)
5) Parker (of pen fame) made a translation mistake when they said that their pens would not leak and therefore would not make you pregnant!
6) American Airlines’ translators told Hispanic customers that instead of enjoying the leather seats in first class that they would enjoy flying naked in first class!
7) The Swedish vacuum cleaner company Electrolux told Americans that “nothing sucks like an Electrolux”
8) Clairol messed up with their translation in Germany and made the mistake of trying to sell customers a manure stick instead of a mist stick for their hair!
9) Pepsi (who have made numerous translation mistakes in the past) told its Chinese customers that their drink would bring their dead relatives back to life.
10) Coors Beer told customers that their beer made people have diarrhoea. What they meant to say was that it “loosened you up”!