Picture this: a company eagerly anticipating the launch of its new website, proudly declares it will be “lunching soon” instead of “launching soon”.
A seemingly trivial error, but one that could potentially cost the company much more than just a meal. This anecdote serves as a stark reminder of the critical role human translators play in bridging linguistic gaps and ensuring seamless communication across borders.
Cost of Miscommunication
When venturing into the Australian and other English-speaking markets, businesses must be aware of the intricacies of language that go beyond words. According to a study by the Common Sense Advisory, 75% of online consumers prefer to buy products in their native language. This statistic underscores the importance of catering to the linguistic preferences of your target audience, demonstrating the need for accurate and culturally appropriate translations.
Language and Cultural Expertise
While automatic translation tools have become more sophisticated, they lack the nuance and cultural understanding that human translators bring to the table. Also, getting a translation done by your team might be a quick fix, but the consequences of relying solely on non-native English speakers or automated translation can be both costly and embarrassing.
In the below example “We are coming soon”” is not very natural in English and sounds awkward compared to “Coming soon!” It would also be more idiomatic to say “We’re currently…” rather than “Currently we are…”. Little things that can add up to make a big difference.
These types of unidiomatic expressions can put off potential customers. For example “We heard your feedback and we are glad to introduce 3 novelties” is a direct translation from French and would read more naturally in English as “We’ve taken your feedback on board and are excited to add 3 new offerings to our range”; or “Perfect for the little munchies and the smaller purse” is a confusing translation from French that would be more effective as “Perfect for a cheeky sweet treat, whatever your budget”.
Human translators offer a unique blend of linguistic expertise and cultural sensitivity combined with an understanding of your personal situation and context, ensuring your message resonates appropriately with the target audience. That’s not to say that translators can’t use AI to spark creativity or streamline their processes, but remember that AI can’t be guaranteed to detect embarrassing linguistic blunders or foster a connection with the audience on a deeper emotional level. These are skills that remain in the realm of human translators with real life experience and expertise.
Navigating the Australian English Landscape
I can work with you as trusted partner when you are seeking to enter the Australian English market. I have expertise in the subtleties of Australian English, and can help your company navigate the linguistic and business landscape and avoid potential pitfalls.
Don’t forget that Australia is a vast and remote country, with an area of 7.7 million square kilometres and a population of 25.7 million inhabitants. This means that it’s important to take into account the risk of encountering difficulties in terms of transportation and distribution in Australia. For example, the launch of a carpooling startup (similar to BlaBlaCar in France) did not succeed in Australia due to the distances between towns and cities that made it unfeasible.
From marketing materials to website content, I can ensure your message is not only accurately translated but also culturally tailored to appeal to an Australian audience.
So, as you embark on your international journey, remember this: In the world of global business, can you afford not to speak the language of your audience?