The Negative Impact of Bad Translation

Sign for translators about typos
Sign for translators warning them about typos

[Guest post]

You may have already seen poorly translated texts or images posted on social media, celebrities’ tattoos, or even in recurring comedy segments in television shows. It is truly hilarious when certain words are translated into a different language that does not imply its actual definition. But more than you know, bad translations can actually result in severe consequences.

What are the Negative Impacts of Poor Translation?

To many professionals, receiving certified translation services can sometimes be an afterthought. Many are now utilizing machine translation software that is often incapable of producing accurate results. It’s important to understand that the impact of bad translation goes beyond funny jokes. It can lead to massive humiliation, failure of businesses, medical malpractice, and more.  

Negative Impact on Business

When engaging in a foreign business, you must present yourself and the company in the best way possible. One way you can do that is by making sure that all your documents are prepared and translated respectfully and accurately. Otherwise, the company may be deemed unprofessional and incompetent. More so, bad translation may also come across as offensive to potential clients if the cultural aspects, for instance, are not given proper consideration.  

Once the industry perceives the company as unprofessional, it will be very likely that other foreign accounts will not want to do business with you. You will lose deals that can potentially turn the company into success. Moreover, once the incident spreads like wildfire, customers may also feel uncomfortable supporting a company that disrespects other people’s cultural backgrounds.

Poor translations can damage a company’s reputation. And it’s important to understand that such mistakes are something you can have control over. Protecting your business and brand should be a top priority, as negative publicity can potentially lead your business into bankruptcy.   

Not only that, but your company can also get in conflict with the law as lousy translations can provide misleading and damaging information. Poor translations of documents may also lead to increased expenses, as misinformation often leads to poor decisions. Correct and accurate translation steers proper understanding, and without it, you can’t make plans relevant to the company’s progress.   

Negative Impact on Medicine

Doctors, nurses, and medical staff need to obtain correct information as mistranslated documents can lead to harmful consequences that could potentially harm their patients. Professional medical translation is vital in ensuring the best possible care is given to the people. 

The medical staff needs accurate guidance when understanding medical device manuals, medical records, and clinical reports. Without proper translation, they can potentially give medicine that can trigger patients’ conditions or prevent them from performing needed surgeries or additional care.   

In giving health details, agreements and contracts, proper translation allows the patients to make informed decisions. The medical staff will also need accurate translation to make crucial decisions for their patients’ care and avoid medical malpractice. 

Essential documents must be accurately translated and reflect the source language’s original intent, tone, definition, content, and cultural cues. Situations of incorrect translation are more than the memes you see on the internet; it can lead to miscommunication and damage people’s lives.

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