When incorrect translations can cost millions and millions!
In today’s interconnected world, businesses often expand their operations across borders and deal with customers, suppliers and partners worldwide. Effective communication is essential to establish trust and build long-term relationships. Language barriers can be a significant obstacle in achieving this objective, and companies often rely on translation services to overcome them. However, using inexperienced or unqualified translators can have disastrous consequences for a business’s reputation, financial health and legal liability.
Let’s now look at some examples that highlight these points.
In 2001, Mead Johnson, a US-based manufacturer of baby formula, was forced to recall 4.6 million cans of its product due to incorrect Spanish language instructions on the side of the packages. The instructions advised parents to mix the formula in a ratio of one scoop per ounce of water, whereas the correct ratio was one scoop per two ounces. Incorrect preparation could have led to serious health problems and even death. Again in 2004, a blunder in translating their preparation instructions from English to Spanish resulted in another product recall when the FDA reported that following the instructions could cause serious health problems.
In another example in 2012, Sharp, the Japanese electronics giant, issued a quarterly statement in Japanese about its negative cash flow, which expressed confidence in the company’s future despite their losses. However, with the English translated version, it added the words “material doubt” to the sentence about its status as a going concern which triggered alarm bells among investors and caused Sharp’s stock to plummet by 10%. A corrected statement was issued four days later, removing the words ” material doubt” and softened the language around the warning but they left the original Japanese version unchanged as it was correct. The damage was already done, and the company’s reputation and financial stability were affected.
The above examples reinforce that it is essential for businesses to invest in high-quality translation services provided by experienced professionals who understand the complexities of cross-cultural communication and can help them achieve their business goals.
At Eagle Language Service, founded in 1998, our professional translators are highly skilled linguists who have the necessary training, education, expertise and experience to translate complex documents accurately. They have a deep understanding of the source and target languages, grammar, syntax, cultural nuances, and industry-specific terminology. Moreover, they adhere to the highest ethical and professional standards and maintain confidentiality, accuracy, and consistency throughout the translation process.