Obviously bad translation is damaging for any business but there are some that really tickle the funny bone. If you’d rather your business made headlines for something other than a translation fail, stay well away from automatic computer translations.
Here are our top five fails!
The well-known beer developed the slogan “Turn It Loose” which was translated into Spanish as “Suffer from Diarrhoea”. That might encourage the Spanish to stick to sangria!
Launching a mist stick, they failed to realise that the German translation marketed it as a manure stick.
Pepsi planned to market their drinks in China using the slogan “Come alive with the Pepsi generation”. Sadly, the Chinese translation read: “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”.
Parker launched a pen in Mexico telling the native population it “won’t make you pregnant”.
KFC emerged as more than finger-licking good after their slogan was translated as “eat your finger off” in Chinese.
It just goes to show it really is best to research the local dialect along with the national language!
Kate studied Spanish at the Universities of Salamanca (Spain) and Southampton before moving to South America to teach English as a Foreign Language. She is fluent in Spanish and also speaks Italian and Portuguese. As well as managing multi-language projects, she undertakes Spanish to English translations, and proofreads and edits English and Spanish texts.
Some of our Customers
As you can guess from us coming back regularly with new translation enquiries, we are happy with the service you provide, and how easy communication is as well. We really appreciate how quick the turnaround is from the day I confirm with you the order to the day you send translations back over.
BLS are a pleasure to work with, they provide quality translations promptly and are always on the end of the phone to answer any questions we may have.
We felt reassured from the outset that we were receiving a great service with thorough and stringent quality assurance and excellent communication.
Professional and prompt and very helpful
An exceptional product delivered in a very timely manner. I was thoroughly pleased with BLS professionalism and the personal nature of our communications throughout the project. I believe this translation from old Welsh (late 1800s) to English was a challenging task. I was so pleased to finally read this book about the life of my 2nd Great Grandfather. I particularly appreciated how BLS shared my enthusiasm! It was a delight to communicate with Holly Trembeth!
We were very pleased with the service, no complaints at all
Fast, friendly service, people who care and understand the needs of charities.
We have used and developed a great relationship with BLS over the last 10+ years. Their dedication to our enquiries is evident from the start and continues throughout. We appreciate their attention to detail and assistance in bringing our customers projects to life, quickly and at a competitive cost
BLS are always really speedy at getting translations back to me - even if they're extra bits we missed in the main document, or changes we've made a few days later! They're my go-to for translations when we have narrow deadlines and can always be relied on.
Business Language Services were incredibly helpful and provided a great and fast service, which was just what we needed for our programme. Thank you so much. We will definitely use again.
Josh was great - he helped us throughout the whole process and continued to co-ordinate further changes with the translation when requested. Fast and efficient.
I commissioned Business Language Services to translate a technical engineering website content into Japanese and have been very happy with the service. Their communication and how they address this project has been very professional. The translation went very smoothly, and presented back to me for use very clearly. The timing of the project was fantastic, it was undertaken in a very reasonable time. We experience no issues the entire project from quote to completion was perfect. Very happy with the service.
We have developed a good working relationship with Business Language Services and in particular the project managers who provide a seamless booking process. They are able to make any amendments to the services we have booked and in a timely manner. We have supported our clients with many interpreter and translation services from BLS, which we have always found to be very professional.
I’ve been very impressed with the professionalism of Business Language Services. Whenever I have submitted work for translation, be it a full menu or just a statement, the work has been completed in good time, and more importantly, I have been kept up to date with the progress of the job!
I could not fault the prompt replies to my queries and completion. All staff I dealt with via telephone and email had excellent interpersonal skills - there was total professionalism in all responses. The interpreter was very helpful. I had no issues with the quality of work provided and would like to thank BLS and the interpreter for all their help. I was happy with the pricing.
Business Language Services provide Mandarin translation services for the University. They deliver fast, accurate translations and their team are very helpful and professional. I would definitely recommend their services.
Peter Alan have 30 branches across South Wales and have been a part of some of those local communities for over 50 years. We recently decided to review our service offering to ensure sufficient Welsh language provision across our network. BLS have played a critical role in helping us to achieve this, and will continue to do so in the future. Their translation turnaround times, the accuracy, attention to detail, professionalism and competitive pricing make them a valuable business partner for Peter Alan, helping us to enrich our brand and meet a rising consumer demand.
Over the past 3 years, the Continuing Professional Development Unit at Cardiff University have developed a good working relationship with Business Language Services and in particular their interpreter, Li Li.. Their processes for assigning interpreters to a project are efficient and flexible. Communication with Business Language Services is seamless and any issues we have encountered have been dealt with swiftly and to our satisfaction. Their service is provided at a competitive rate.
British Canoeing Awarding Body has used Business Language Services on two occasions. Each time we have been extremely satisfied with the professionalism demonstrated from start to finish, the prompt turnaround time from set up to completion and the accuracy of the translations returned. We would not hesitate in recommending Business Language Services.
I wanted to thank you and the team at Business Language Services for your quick turnaround of our School Pack translations which allowed us to properly engage with school children in Wales… It was a pleasure working with you and Laura and I am sure we will be in touch again in the future for similar projects, although with more notice!
We have had the pleasure of working with BLS (specifically James ) on many occasions in relation to our English to Welsh translations.
We have found their communication and accuracy of work beyond reproach.
We class BLS as a “first call” supplier and would never think of using any other company for our translations.
Business Language Services have supported us in our careers & employability agenda by providing our students with advice relating to careers in the translation industry, and by participating in panels for mock interviews for students. We are very pleased to collaborate with a Cardiff-based company that provides a variety of language services in a professional context and can therefore provide an insight into a field that is of interest to many of our students. Translation is in high demand across our institution, and as our school ceased providing this function in 2016 I frequently refer colleagues who require this service to BLS.
We approached Business Language Services to assist Caerphilly Trading Standards develop a multi-language Poster (Welsh, English, Punjabi, Urdu, Turkish, Bengali, Mandarin, Cantonese and Kurdish) for display in Takeaway premises. The poster was designed to assist consumers who have a food intolerance or allergy to enjoy food safely and support businesses. The prompt translation and subsequent proof reading of the allergen posters provided by Business Language Services was invaluable and very much appreciated.
PACEY have used Business Language Services as our primary source of high quality translation for a number of years. We have always been extremely pleased with the standard of service provided in terms of translation quality, time and attentive customer care. They are highly responsive and approachable and the services provided supported our successful implementation of Welsh language resources and services. We would not hesitate to recommend Business Language Services to other organisations requiring professional translation services.
Business Language Services are our “go to” company for all our translations services whether it be French, German, Italian, Spanish etc., we’ve always found them to be cost effective, efficient, diligent and above all easy to work with, I would have no problem in recommending Business Language Services to any of my business associates.
I had the pleasure of working with Business Language Services (specifically Rhys and Adam) in relation to them hosting a tailored work experience for one of my students at Cardiff University. They offered my student a hands on work experience and gave personal advice and feedback, which I know has helped shape her future career choices. The communication and understanding from the team was exception and I hope to work with them again in the future.
It’s always a pleasure working with BLS. They are responsive and always very helpful. They maintain a good level of contact during a project and there’s always someone available to respond to queries. Whether the job is large or small, their general level of service has always been consistently good.
Partner, Designworld Ltd
We (LeaderTelecom) applied for proofreading services to various companies, but Business Language Services is perhaps the leaders in this direction. When we need proofreading from a British native speaker, we invariably resort to the services of this agency. Proofreading is done quickly, professionally and efficiently.
We have been very satisfied with the professionalism, expertise, and efficiency of the Business Language Services team throughout several projects and would not hesitate to use their services again in the future.
We found Business Language Services extremely efficient and effective to work with. Amy handled all of our requests excellently and we couldn't have been more pleased with speed and accuracy of the results. We would definitely recommend BLS and plan to use them for all our future language needs.
Business Language Services provided an exceptional service, from the turnaround time to the resolution of any minor adjustments. The quality of work has always been of an extremely high standard. Their prices are also very competitive. Additionally the customer service staff are always friendly and very helpful. I wouldn’t consider using any other company.
BLS has assisted us with the translation of our “Machine Manuals” and screen content for our PLC controlled HMI’s. They have been particularly adept at understanding the engineering terms and technical nature of our requests and have translated these into not only the more commonly used European languages such as French, Spanish, Italian etc, but have also supplied us with Simplified Chinese and Hebrew translations.