Poor Translation, a Popular Source of Entertainment:

We all have laughed at those hilarious images of signs in other countries that display poor translation, the conversion of words is normally so backwards that you can’t even tell what the sign is saying in the first place. Poor translations can be funny in some instances, but they are not so humorous when they negatively impact your business interactions with a foreign investor or provide wrong dosage instructions on a prescription medication bottle. Professional translation services are sometimes an afterthought to entrepreneurs, legal and medical professionals. Often times, translations are left in the not so capable hands of machine translation software. Although this option may save time and money the repercussions of not using a professional translation company can be severe in some cases.

Professional translators have the ability to convert the source language’s original tone, meaning, content and cultural cues into the target language with accuracy and attention to the finest detail. When providing people with important documentation, it’s imperative that the translation of that documentation be accurate and reflect the original intent. Investing in professional translation services upfront can not only save you money in the long run, it can help prevent possible embarrassment, loss of business or, in a worst case scenario, medical malpractice. Hiring a reputable translation company to handle all your important document translation needs is the smartest route to take, Niki’s Int’l Ltd. specializes in global translation services spanning numerous industries. Their network includes highly qualified translators available in over 350 languages and dialects. When so much is at stake with documen translation, why would you leave the job up to just anyone?

Poor Translation in Business:

As an entrepreneur, when engaging in international business of any sort, the last thing you want is to look foolish and unprofessional in front of your foreign counterpart and poor translation is a sure fire way to achieve just that. It is important that you present yourself as well as your business in the best light possible, so enlisting the aid of a professional translation company to translate your documents is the only way to ensure accuracy and save face. Poor translation can damage a company’s image and allow your marketing message to come across as offensive if cultural aspects were not taken into account during the actual translation. Being perceived as unprofessional can make international partners not want to do business with your company and it can also turn customers away from your products or services. This mistake allows room for your competition to swoop in and collect your potential international customers that you worked so hard to gain.

Poor PR and a damaged reputation are on the line, any negative publicity towards your company is truly unwanted, especially when translation mistakes are an issue you have complete control over. The possibility of prosecution due to a poor translation that gives misleading information is real and you do not want your business associated with that type of unacceptable legal publicity. Protecting your business and brand should be at the forefront of your priorities, the fact that one word alone can throw off the entire intended meaning should scare you enough into realizing that translation should only be left to the professionals. The following list was comprised to show you some of the possible negative outcomes that can be faced if you do not allocate the necessary budget for translation services into your business’s yearly spending.

Possibly Negative Outcomes:

  • Business Decisions Being Made Off Misinformation
  • Sued For Providing False Information or Instructions
  • Additional Costs
  • Time and Productivity Wasted
  • Reputation Damage
  • Missed Deadlines
  • Loss of Credibility
  • Customer and Sales Loss
  • Conflict with Foreign Partners
  • Offending Potential Clients and Customers  

Poor Translation in Medical Settings:

In the medical field being supplied with correct information is an absolute requirement. Doctors, nurses and medical staff are not able to do their jobs efficiently if they are not provided with the correct information they need to understand symptoms and treat patients. Mistranslated documents can have severe consequences and could potentially cause a matter of life and death. The liability medical staff carries in regards to their patients is high, and when a language barrier is present that often leaves more room for error. For example, in 2013 a hospital in Berlin, Germany fell victim to the repercussions of poor translation, the improper implantation of 47 knee prostheses occurred due to a mistranslated set of instructions in a medical manual. The prostheses were non-modular cemented prostheses, however the instructions that were translated into German read, “prosthesis requires no cement.” The doctors trusted what the instructions in the manual told them to do, so they implanted 47 knee prosthesis which required cement, without it. One third of the 47 patients that received the surgery complained of problems and half of the patients chose to have an additional surgery to try and correct the problem. Professional medical translation is not only important but it is vital in providing the best possible care for your patients.

Medical Documents Commonly Translated:

  • Prescription Medication Descriptions and Dosage Instructions
  • Medical Device Instruction Manuals
  • Medical Records
  • Clinical Reports
  • Case Report Forms
  • Physician Manuals
  • Clinical Study Agreements and Contracts
  • Informed Consent Forms
  • Patient Information Leaflets

Poor Translation Regarding Legal Matters:

When dealing with legal matters one single word can change the entire meaning of a document. Attention to the smallest detail is required when life changing documents are at hand, various licenses, patents, immigration documentation, ownership of property papers and many more items are all capable of altering your life in countless ways if poorly translated. Imagine immigration papers being mistranslated, conveying an unintended meaning and a person being deported as a result. Perhaps adoption papers were misleading once translated and that prevented a couple from giving a child in need a home. A person may admit to a crime while being questioned or sign a document while not understanding what they say. Many life consequences can result from poorly translated legal documentation, this is why it is important that the task be left to professional translation companies who can ensure accuracy and precision. There are many complexities and difficulties involved with legal translation and it takes the knowledge, experience and skill of a professional translator to successfully complete the job.

Legal Documents Commonly Translated:

  • Licenses and Certifications
  • Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights
  • Litigation Summaries
  • Contracts
  • Adoption Papers
  • Immigration Documentation
  • Financial Records
  • Permits
  • Real Estate Papers and Leases
  • Service Agreements
  • Deposition Records
  • Passports
  • Transcripts

How Can You Avoid Translation Mistakes?

The potential embarrassment, failure of business or possible medical malpractice due to mistranslation is a legitimate issue, and all businesses, medical facilities or legal offices should heed warning to the dangers of poorly translated documentation. Your patients, clients or customers deserve the common courtesy of having their documents translated correctly by a professional translation company, if this is not provided it can reflect poorly on your part. Professional translators have the ability to fine tune the content based on cultural nuances, experience and knowledge, those skills are immeasurable and something that machine translation software simply can not do.

Enlisting the aid of professional translation services can be the difference between securing an investment and losing a business deal altogether. Sacrificing quality will get you inexperienced or unqualified translators who will in turn produce poorly translated documents, opening your business, medical facility or legal office up to face many possibly consequences. Avoid costly translation errors by enlisting high quality translation services that utilize a thorough quality control process to ensure that all their translations are not only linguistically but culturally and technically accurate as well. Don’t fall victim to the repercussions associate with mistranslations, Niki’s Int’l Ltd. is a translation company who puts their clients needs first and will go above and beyond to ensure that you will receive an accurate and pristinely translated document every time.

Niki’s Int’l Ltd. is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise with 20 years of language service experience. A global network of highly skilled translators and interpreters are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for on-site, telephonic and video remote interpretation services. Our linguists are available in over 350 languages and dialects, and our network includes certified translators and interpreters. Our work is guaranteed with a $1 Million Errors & Omissions policy, so that you can be confident that your project will be completed with the highest level of quality and professionalism within the field. For more information contact us at 1-877-567-8449 or visit our website at

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