translation is all about

understanding a culture


About translation



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The benefits... and the risks

You’ve probably heard the story about the Chevy Nova which failed when marketed in Latin America because 'no va’ in Spanish means ‘doesn’t go’. It’s a good story, and probably an urban myth, but it carries a serious point.

Translation is about much more than replacing words from one language with words from another. It’s about understanding cultural differences, nuances and subtleties that make the difference between sounding professional, competent and authoritative - or sounding ridiculous. This is why professional translation is so important.

Automated machine translation tools, translation by amateurs and translations by people not working into their mother tongue are only any use for getting a general understanding of foreign language materials, or for casual translation of documents for people you know well. If you want to impress existing or potential clients, you need quality and professionalism.

When you see something that has clearly been badly translated, it speaks volumes about the quality and professionalism of that company, or their own view of their business.

When image and message are paramount, you need to work with experts. Talk to Languages Today about your translation projects.


Read an article on choosing between a translation services company and machine translation.


Read an article on the translator as a strategic problem solver.



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