Many companies don’t realize the damage they’re doing to their brand by cutting corners in the translation department.

Indeed, and unfortunately, often translation is seen as a secondary function of their marketing effort. This could not be further from the truth — Regulating translation as an afterthought can severely damage a company financially, and can even be fatal! Case in point:

            “Machine translation forces major Japanese publishing company into bankruptcy”

(You can search this article tile on the Internet for the full details.)

This article was posted as a warning to poor quality Japanese English translation. However, while interest in the article initially spiked, the publishers report that that interest was more of a “Hey, did read about…”, type of curiosity. Sometimes it helps to drive the message home with something that is easier to relate to. Below follows a product description lifted from a Japanese company’s website that was translated into English:

“We manufacture and sell original Japanese Kokeshi. Japanese Kokeshi, from our beloved people in the world. We find that so many kinds Kokeshi Kokeshi manufacturer. The material, we also sell Kokeshi colleagues in Gunma Prefecture. Please once.”

(Let me assure you wholeheartedly that there is no transcribing error in the product description.)

If you have not used the services of a professional Japanese translation company for your materials, this is probably what your marketing materials in Japanese look like. Question: Having read this product description, would you buy the product from this company? No, of course not! And, there is a very good reason for it. That is, research on usability studies have shown that:

Potential clients tend to associate excessive spelling and grammatical errors as not being trustworthy.

Clearly there’s a problem with this product description. This translation is the result of using machine translation, non-professional translators, or a combination of machine translation and non professional translator (which is also known as Post Edited Machine Translation). If quality is essential, these are the translation tools and methodologies that are, quite literally, the kiss of death and which you obviously want to avoid.

Generally, it’s easy to tell if there is a quality problem with your translated (marketing) materials – It’s not generated the level of sales you expected, especially in comparison to the original materials. If you’re not sure what the problem is, then contact the Japanese Translation Company in Tokyo, Japan for a free, no obligation professional opinion

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