As Refined Practice’s resident linguist, I’d like to highlight the importance of good language in helping you make the most of your brand. If you’ve invested a great deal of time and money in creating the best possible website, brochure, Facebook page etc., it would be a shame to skimp when it comes to editing and proofreading your text or translating it into a different language. However superb your visuals are, poor English will dent your credibility. However good your English is, a bad translation will be even more harmful – and worse still, you might not even realise. The picture above, taken in a leading five-star hotel, offers guests ‘Dead Water’ as a translation for ‘Stilles Wasser’. Not something you want for breakfast! This shows how the tiniest details can cause embarrassment when they aren’t implemented carefully.
Some companies completely fail to acknowledge the importance of language expertise, while others see it as a commoditised service that can be bought on the cheap. In my experience, the results speak for themselves. Refined Practice treats language as an integral part of every brand. As well as my own skills in writing, proofreading and translating from French and German into English, we can call on an extensive network of partners to cover many other language combinations. Not all your potential customers speak your language, but we can help you to speak theirs.
UPDATE: These bits of mystifying translation were spotted on a menu in Zürich recently – can you tell what they are meant to be?