You don’t realize how important localization is until you see the mistakes that occur when there is lack of it. When a professional localization service is not used, mistakes happen really easily. Many think that translation is enough in order to market products and services internationally, but localization is equally essential in most cases. In fact, marketing localization services must be used because a slogan made for one country might not translate well into the language of another country. There are many different factors to pay attention when localizing a text, including place names, dialects, idioms, text dimensions, and much more. Hiring a localization service is essential to ensure that a perfect translation is directed towards a target group in a culturally-sensitive fashion. Most commercials use localization services paired with good video translation services, but nevertheless, there have been some mistakes that have happened throughout the years involving very well-known brands that underestimated the importance of good web localization.
Here are five hilarious instances when localization services could have been used:
1. KFC Could Have Used A Localization Service
Their famous slogan “Finger lickin’ good” was translated to “Eat your fingers off” in China. Such a mistranslation could have easily been avoided if they had used a localization service and proof-read it. These mistakes are funny now, but at the time, this must have been really awkward to explain.
2. Honda Didn’t Use A Professional Localization Service
For Honda, investing in a localization service partner might have avoided the mistake of presenting their car model as a “Fitta” in Japan even though the car’s name referred to a woman’s intimate parts. Imagine if this had happened in the internet age; it would have easily gone viral. This story proves that it is important to invest in website translation services and localization when exporting to foreign markets
3. A Localization Service Could Have Helped Pepsi
Pepsi’s localization mistake is also really awkward. They translated their slogan, “Come alive! You’re in the Pepsi Generation!”, to “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead!” in Mandarin and Cantonese and “Rise from the grave with Pepsi!” in German. Clearly, they would have avoided this mistake if they invested in a certified localization service and translation services.
4. The Case of Electrolux
This case especially demonstrates the importance of marketing localization services. The slogan for the company, Electrolux, when translated into English, read, “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.”. Here the Swedish brand was talking about their new vacuum, but unfortunately the lack of professional localization services created an embarrassing situation for the company. Obviously, this model didn’t sell well in the American market.
The Mexican Pen brand had the slogan, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you” in Spanish. Even if their slogan worked in Spanish, they mistranslated it in English to, “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant” in English. Such a mistake does not look well at all for a brand whether it is in a commercial or in a webpage; brands should never underestimate the power of investing in a localization service.
A localization service is not limited to providing marketing localization; it can also provide elearning translation services and localization, video translation, and website localization. In today’s age, it is essential to think seriously about website localization and how they can help your company’s marketing.
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