Someone gave me a handy little diary recently. I was particularly pleased because I’m not always that quick on the draw and in South Africa, diaries are sold out by the 15th of January. This usually means that I have to ‘maak a plan‘* and find a suitable alternative, or depend on kind-hearted friends to pass on freebie corporate diaries to ensure my year unfolds in a neat and orderly fashion.
So when the aforementioned diary arrived out of the blue and had a useful set of extras, I was quite thrilled: maps, country dialling codes, weight and measurement conversions and all the other standard ‘diary’ fare.
Things were looking up.
Until I tried to fill in my contact details in the event of the dreaded misfortune of actually losing said diary:
Suddenly, all the added extras weren’t looking so attractive. So I checked out the size chart, the conversions, the dialling codes and all the other value-added bonuses.
And I no longer felt confident.
Nor was I that thrilled anymore. I’d lost faith in the accuracy of not only the content of the diary, but also in the brand of the company that provided the diary.
And this is why (good) translators are important. Because we offer a certain dependability, and this is passed on to not only our clients, but also to their brands.
That, and also because we all need a good diary.
For other (hilariously funny) marketing mistranslations if you’re not yet entirely convinced, take a look at this article.
*Maak ‘n plan means ‘make a plan’ in Afrikaans for those who couldn’t decipher its cryptic trickery