At Rhubarb Fool we consume all kinds of media with about as much enthusiasm as we attack a certain fruity, creamy dessert…
Inevitably, we come across all sorts – magazines,
books, logos, apps, supplements, maps, and more, all in different languages. But something else that varies wildly is the quality. And all too often the place where the quality is sorely lacking is in the translation.
It’s almost understandable – perhaps some businesses are more concerned with their home-based audience, or maybe others are just too comfortable communicating only in English. These concerns, together with the distance that foreign languages seem to have in comparison, mean that translation takes a back seat.
It all too often feels like a poorly executed afterthought, with the results being little better than something run through Google translate. And there is just no excuse for alienating members of your target audience in this way. At least, in our opinion there isn’t.
Think about taking the time to make a delicious meal. You go to the finest deli in town (or, let’s face it, Waitrose) to source the very best ingredients money can buy, consult a complicated recipe, and pay attention to detail to make sure every stage is executed perfectly.
Now imagine looking at that delicious meal you’ve just created, and pouring cheap tomato ketchup all over it before serving it up to someone. That’s a little like what getting
a substandard translation is like. However sparkling the English copy is, however brilliant the design, it’s all for naught if the translation doesn’t convey that.
The fact is that, with English being such an important world language, we’re all a little bit too used to everyone speaking it. It’s so easy to say ‘but they’ll understand the English anyway – why bother with the translation?’ It’s worth bothering because the extra effort to identify with target demographics on their level fosters more meaningful connections.
The effort doesn’t go unnoticed by consumers, and more importantly, you can establish your company as a brand that does things properly –
do you really want to ever put your name to something below par?
At Rhubarb Fool we have a deep respect for the importance of translation, and its slightly more nuanced sister, transcreation. Catch up on some of our other blog posts for more insights.