Marketing Fails Caused By Language Barriers - Absolute Translations
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Marketing Fails Caused By Language Barriers

For businesses looking to reach new customers, marketing and advertising is essential. Not only is it a vital part of increasing your brand awareness but it can lead to a huge spike in sales. Therefore, it is important to get your marketing efforts right first time round. However, when these new customers are based in foreign territories, language barriers can quickly ruin your marketing campaign; especially if you fail to use translation services. After all, certain words and phrases may not translate accurately into the target language. This could ultimately lead to offending or turning away customers.

Here at Absolute Translations – one of the UK’s leading providers of translation services, we understand the importance of marketing to a brand. That’s why we have a team of specialist translators who provide marketing translations. Our team are native-speakers living and working in your target destination, meaning they know the culture better than anyone.

Below are examples of what can happen when companies don’t use professional translation services for their marketing campaigns:


When a Scandinavian company, Electrolux, wanted to promote their range of vacuum in America, they didn’t consider the culture. Using the slogan ‘Nothing Sucks Like an Electrolux’, customers were confused as to whether the company were being promoted or insulted. Unfortunately, the slogan was meant to refer to the strong suction of their vacuum cleaner. However, the word ‘sucks’ in America is used to describe something which is bad.

Powergen Italia

When Powergen (an Italian company known for industrial batteries) wanted to expand into English-speaking countries, they decided to create a new website. This involved purchasing a new domain name for the website. The marketing team for Powergen Italia settled on which was instantly ridiculed by English speakers around the world for obvious reasons. Realising what they had done, Powergen Italia removed the domain and quickly switched it to

Parker Pens

Famous for their fountain pens, Parker Pens wanted to expand their customer base to Spanish consumers. However, their slogan ‘It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you,’ was unfortunately mistranslated. In Spanish, it was ‘It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.’ This was obviously extremely confusing for Spanish customers.
Are you looking to expand your business and customer base? Why not get in touch with the team at Absolute Translations on 0333 577 0767 for more information.