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Translation Pitfalls in Marketing: What to Watch Out For

When one of your company’s goals is to conquer more foreign markets, when you’re meticulously planning your next marketing campaign to enchant new audiences, when you want to appeal to customers in another country using the language of benefits, you can never underestimate the importance of the local language. This is why it is so important to pay attention to the quality of the translations of the materials you put out on the market. Marketing texts have a life of their own. You can’t just paste them together, and you can’t translate them word for word.


That may seem obvious to many, yet many companies only turn to specialists in marketing and advertising translation after they have bad experiences. What are the main reasons for this disappointment? Quite simply, the fact that the translated marketing materials were not properly adapted to their intended audience. As a result, a text that worked perfectly where it was first published may fail in another market. Sometimes it’s metaphors that don’t translate, other times the text loses its cultural context, and still other times, the message falls flat due to a clumsy translator’s complete misunderstanding of the local sense of humour.


In fact, marketing communication is one of the most innovative and creative aspects of business, as it is entirely based on the art of persuasion and on choosing the right words for your audience. Marketing translations have to bear this in mind and can’t rely on literal translation. To reproduce the effect of the original text in another language, a good translator should actually resort to transcreation, that is, recreating he message of the text in the target language, while preserving the intentions, emotions, and style of the original. That’s why it’s best not to take risks and to trust a professional translation company. Don’t let a bad translation undo all the hard work you’ve done so far.

Studio Gambit Team

We are the translators, editors, proofreaders, project managers, IT specialists, localization engineers and DTP operators forming part of the team here at Studio Gambit.

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