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Avoid Advertising Disasters with Quality Professional Spanish Translation

When it comes to free translation for your business or nonprofit organization, you get what you pay for. Learn from these companies’ Spanish-language advertising blunders.


“Suffer from Diarrhea” does not invoke a satisfying image of pleasant-tasting beer. Yet the Coors beer ad campaign “Turn it Loose” was translated into Spanish as such. American Airlines’ tagline “Fly in Leather” became “Fly Naked” in the Spanish translation of the company’s ad campaign. Equally as harsh, the American Dairy Association wasn’t very successful with its Spanish-language marketing. Their famous tagline “Got Milk?” was translated as “Are you lactating?” Not good.

While free and nonprofessional translation software can be a useful tool for “getting the gist” of a word or phrase in Spanish, there is absolutely no substitute for professional, accurate translation, especially when the finished product is being used to represent your business or organization. Language is extremely complex, and free translation software fails to effectively translate even the simplest of phrases.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, not everyone who speaks both English and Spanish is qualified to translate. Incorrect translations can occur when a company assumes that Spanish speaking employees, such as native Speaking-speaking Hispanic Americans are capable of professional translations. When translating, both the source language and the target language are equally important. A Spanish speaker may know a word in English, but they might not be familiar with common usages of that particular word and fail to understand the correct grammar and vocabulary for the target audience.

What is especially surprising is how many poor Spanish translations exist when the cost of professional translation is so low and potential liability is so high. Just imagine what could happen if you translated a few words incorrectly in a legal or medical document? Wondering why your Hispanic marketing efforts aren't providing results? Customers who are confused by what they read and hear probably won’t contact you for clarification.

Obtaining a high quality translation is a decision that will save your company money in the long run, and guarantee that your marketing efforts provide the returns you expect. A high quality translation costs an average of $0.12 - $0.15 per word which is most likely minuscule compared to your marketing campaigns and a fraction of what an incorrect translation could cost you.

Protect your company’s image. Next time you require business or marketing materials to be translated into Spanish, hire a professional translation firm that will ensure you don’t look like an amateur. For more information on affordable, professional English to Spanish translation, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.
About Author Kimberly Berls :

Kimberly Berls is VP of Business Development for Spanish Matters, a translation firm specializing in translation specifically for the US Spanish-speaking market. Visit for more information on professional English to Spanish translation for your business or nonprofit organization.

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Article Added on Saturday, March 15, 2008
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