Have you heard about the car that doesn’t go? Legend goes that a major car company was introducing a new line called the Nova to the Latin American market. The biggest oversight that the company made was the language difference; in Spanish “nova” roughly translates to “not going.” Although in reality, “no va” in Spanish is not a typical way to describe a car that doesn’t run. This tale is often told as an amusing anecdote of how multinational corporations fail to realize that one simple word that was overlooked can doom an entire product.
There are plenty of similar tales out there. Another commonly told tale is from Parker’s Pens. They translated their slogan to what back-translated would be “It won’t leak in your pocket and impregnate you.” However they quickly realized that the Spanish use of “embarazar” has quite a different meaning and does not mean “to embarrass.” In this case, the translators did not do their job properly and most likely didn’t have any editors that would easily catch this “embarrassing” mistake.
These stories, whether they are true or tales, point to the same conclusion: Don’t skimp out on translation. Make sure you use a reputable translation agency that guarantees results and quality. Please put your trust in Trusted Translations and feel free to contact us for a free quote.