OK, so we've all seen them on holiday – the badly-translated but charming signs that are well intentioned, and give us a giggle.
Sometimes you get the gist of what they were trying to say:
And on other occasions the mind simply boggles:
Nowadays many people use Google Translate and keep their fingers crossed. A bit like this person. I'm guessing the site crashed and this error message popped up:
We should spare a thought for the signwriters and translators. English is a complex language, even for native English speakers.
However, in business I can't stress enough the importance of:
1. Ensuring that your marketing copy is written in perfect English, with no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors;
2. Using a native English speaker to truly understand idiom, culture and branding;
3. Using a copywriter to help you express your marketing messages clearly, and tailor the language to your specific market.
In a business context, many international organisations use translation agencies. They may be very good at what they do – but they’re not marketing professionals.
Your copywriting is part of your communication strategy. Your communication strategy is formed using knowledge of your customers, market and stakeholders.
At Public, we consider your market and your customers when working on your copy, to ensure that your your message retains the same meaning and power after it's been translated.