- Hedd Freeman
- February 11, 2016
- 1,546 views
Companies spend millions on painstakingly researching, creating and promoting their brands. Yet even the largest corporations have stumbled at the final hurdle by pushing their products internationally with mistranslations that are at best, confusing, and at worst, downright offensive. It seems even more surprising that brands purporting themselves as luxury or high end would appear to cut corners on something so obvious.
Parker, the luxury pen manufacturer, found itself in such a situation upon entering the Mexican market. Their advertising campaign contained a translation of their slogan, “Parker Pens won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you”, a clear reference to their pens’ superior engineering. Unfortunately, this message was somewhat undermined by the translation: “No te embarazará chorreándose en tu bosillo”, meaning, ‘it won’t leak in your pocket and impregnate you’. Although a noble claim for a pen, it didn’t quite convey the intended message, and despite Parker’s original claim it was all a bit, well, embarrassing.
Luxury brands such as Parker have huge marketing budgets at their disposal, so their accompanying literature should look every bit as polished as the products themselves. Translation is often one of the last steps in a marketing process, and so is an easily noticeable and affordable way to make a brand look well managed, and is something even the smallest companies should concentrate on doing well. Gaffes such as this are an extreme example of mistranslation, but sometimes it can be the most subtle of mistakes which make you roll your eyes and think, ‘how much would it have cost to get someone to quickly check this over?’ However, for some smaller brands looking to put out high-end services, the cost of a traditional translation service has often been prohibitive, and so these mistakes can slip through, potentially putting off customers looking for a product or service which gives off the overall impression of quality and polish.
Stepes is a way for high-end brands of any size to ensure nothing gets lost in translation. Businesses are able to send content from the very first business plan to the final packaging via Stepes directly to a translator who has been selected for their expertise in that area, and who will ensure that the original feel and message of the brand doesn’t get lost. The revolutionary text-based translation service also uses a familiar smartphone app interface to contact translators, making it easy and convenient for businesses to immediately send over anything they feel needs a bit of polish. Translation should not be a complication for high-end brands as they expand into foreign markets; in fact it can be the perfect opportunity for luxury brands to show their attention to detail.