The cost of translation errors

Most common mistakes when translating a website

The way in which a company communicates internally and externally with its employees and potential clients is a reflection of its professionalism and attention to detail. Communication, for example, when selling a product or a service, plays a vital role in the client's final decision.

Linguistic errors in a website

A company's website is its visiting card: it explains what it is, what it does, if gives information on its products or services and its clients, etc. Spelling, grammatical or translation errors have a negative effect on the brand image for users and on their perception of quality of the company's products or services. A website with spelling or translation errors may see its sales fall by up to 50%; It is for this reason that we recommend carrying out a linguistic audit of a website.

These errors not only affect users, but they also affect the search engine optimisation (SEO). This can occur when the translation of keywords into other languages is not reviewed carefully. Google penalises these translation errors in its positioning algorithm.

The viralality of linguistic errors

Nowadays, translation errors are much more likely to go viral due to constant content sharing on social networks. In just one minute, 72 hours of video are generated on Youtube, Google receives 4 million search requests and over 277 thousand tweets are sent. It's amazing, isn't it? If web content is published with errors in translation, users often share the story on social media. This can have a huge negative impact on a brand image.

The multiplier, or snowball effect on social networks, as well as the impossible task of controlling or deleting content once it has entered the circuit, are factors to be aware of, so web content should be carefully revised before publishing.

The case of the website MonDocteur is an example of a hasty revision of a translation. The company made a machine translation of its web content through the Google Chrome translator but the result was not what they expected. A sentence from French to Spanish was translated badly, and in a question of minutes it had gone viral on Twitter.

The original sentence "Des experts passionnés qui se donnent à fond pour vous” was translated automatically as: "Expertos apasionados que se dan por el culo para usted". In fact, the correct translation into Spanish would be something like "Expertos apasionados que lo dan todo por ti”.

In this kind of situation, what should be taken into account?

  • If you would like a multilingual version of your web content, use specialised, professional translators.
  • When writing any type of content, benefit from the knowledge of a qualified reviser who will revise the final version of the text before delivering it to the consumer.
  • If you are going to publish on social networks, employ qualified staff who can write well.

At ATLS, we take out clients' brand image very seriously, and for this reason we take the utmost care with our translations. Do you need a website translation? Put your multilingualism projects in the best hands.

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Written by ATLS

Translation and digital marketing agency
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