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Why Perfect Accuracy Is The Most Important Part of Business Translations

The proper use of language in business is something that separates the companies that succeed and those that fail. Language is used in all aspects of a business, from marketing and sales, to customer service, research and development, and operations to name a few. Every employee in a business needs to communicate verbally, electronically or through print media with co-workers, management, stakeholders, customers, or potential investors in order to move the company forward towards achieving growth and meeting its goals. It is much easier to accomplish this when everyone speaks the same language, but what if other languages come into play?


This presents additional challenges that can have devastating consequences for a business if they are not handled properly. These challenges are very prominent in the Canadian business world, but they don’t have to be a headache to overcome. Hiring a professional translator gives your business an advantage by making sure language barriers don’t affect any aspect of your business. Trusting your own translations puts your business at risk in the following ways.

It Can Damage Your Brand

It’s no secret that having a strong brand identity is imperative for success in any market. Having the right messaging is a part of building that brand identity. If your message gets lost in translation, then you can be sure that marketing your products or services in markets that have a different primary language than your own will be much more difficult. A prime example of this is the baby food brand, Gerber. With their brand name being similar to the French (from France) slang word for “vomit” and the general appearance of their baby food, they have not had the success in France that they have seen in other markets. If they had planned and invested in translation and localization before entering the French market, then they may have had a better chance of success.

Increased Risk of Legal Liability

Making sure all business documents are accurately translated protects your business from potential legal liabilities. Conversely, improperly translated documents can actually expose your business to potential legal liabilities. For example, a hospital in Florida had mistranslated the Spanish word “intoxicado” to “intoxicated” instead of the more accurate translation “poisoned.” This led to the patient not receiving the correct treatment in time, and becoming a quadriplegic. This mixup cost that hospital $71 million after settling the case outside of the courts. The potential liability risks won’t always be as extreme, but they are still there and can easily be avoided with proper translation services.

Increased Risk of Accounting Errors

Accounting and math are considered universal for the most part. However, there is a noticeable difference in formatting Quebec versus the rest of the country in things such as currency, which is important for accounting and invoicing. Quebec uses a comma instead of a period (which the rest of Canada uses) to separate dollars and cents. French Canadian accounting also places the dollar sign after the number value, separated by a space. If these monetary values are not properly translated when consolidating accounting data from Quebec and the rest of the country, there could end up being a large discrepancy in accounting. This can have significant tax implications for any business that doesn’t handle these translations properly.

Increased Costs Due to Rework

Making the mistake of using bad translations and skipping localization can have a negative impact on a business on its own through lost sales, but the impact is compounded by the costs incurred to correct this mistake. This includes rebranding, reprints of marketing materials and lost revenues due to missed deadlines.

A prime example of how costly this can get is HSBC and their international “Assume Nothing” campaign. Many of the translated slogans ended up being read as “Do Nothing” which did not resonate well in many markets worldwide. They were forced to start a rebranding process which ultimately cost the company $10 million.

Search Engines Punish Poorly Translated Websites

Poor translations lead to poor search engine rankings for your website on Google, Bing and other search engines on the internet. This can be attributed to two main reasons. First of all, poor website translations may not have the right keywords needed to rank well in your industry. More importantly though, is the importance of the user experience when looking at a website. If a website is poorly translated, users are much more likely to have a bad experience on your website. In the words of Moz, a leading SEO company:


“Automatic translations can be inaccurate and off-putting. They can hurt a website trying to rank in a competitive landscape. A great way to get an edge on your competitors is to use professional, high-quality native translators to localize your content into your target languages. High-quality localization is one of the key factors in improving your rankings when it comes to international SEO.”


Don’t risk hurting your website, and give your business a leg up with professional translation services. There are even grants available to subsidize the costs, so there is no reason not to accept this risk.
This successful launch was all due to a three-year long process that was needed to prepare. Their success can be summarized in five key points.

Professional Translation Services Guarantee Translation Accuracy

At 5 Star Translation, we understand the impact translations can have on a business that is navigating the intricacies of operating in a bilingual market. As such, the accuracy of all of our translations is our top priority. When you work with us, you get the highest quality translations every time so you can be sure that language barriers won’t translate to increased risks and business costs. If you need to have any kind of business document or media translated in English or French, contact us right away and rest assured that you’re in good hands!