Every language has expressions. And AI captures most, but not all of them. For example:
“J’ai la pêche” in French literally means “I have the peach.” But it can also mean “I feel good” which AI versions don’t provide. In English, “I feel like a spring chicken” means that I’m feeling young and vibrant. But put it into Google Translate and you will get a literal translation, which other languages would never use and simply makes no sense.
Branding expert Rey Perez
asked us to translate his book about marketing in which he wrote, “Ready to rock and roll.” Put that into Spanish with AI and you get the literal translation, “Listo para rock and roll” which has nothing to do with the correct meaning of “Let’s go” or “Let’s do this.”
And as mentioned last month, if a Spanish-speaker tells his doctor that he is “intoxicado,” he will likely be treated for drunkenness instead of the alternative meaning of “food poisoning.” Huge difference there!
The point of all these examples is that AI has its limits and always will. If you want the gist of what something says, AI works fine in many languages.
But if you want your book, contract, manual, health report, video or website translated accurately, AI must
be done in combination with professional linguists who understand the intent and any needed cultural adaptation, not just the words, of the source language. And this comprehensive method, of course, is what Auerbach International
As you know, expansion into global or ethnic US markets is more than just words. It involves mindset; effective strategies; knowing countries’ rules and regulations; uncovering hidden opportunities; understanding overseas communication styles, cultural cues and business methods; gaining insiders’ insights; other countries’ HR, legal and accounting practices; and more. With over 14,000 downloads, all of these topics and many others are addressed in the 70 episodes of our podcast series, Global Gurus: Stories of International Business.
Please review the Index at the top of the page to gain lots of free education!
And finally, translations can only be effective if they are written correctly in their original language. Incorrect spelling, punctuation and word choice can easily change meanings or carry unintended and incorrect double meanings, as shown in these wonderful English signs:
- East Paulding Middle School: Welcome back students. We are glad you are hear.
- Rest Room out of odor.
- Please do not put heavy item on top of machine. Thank you for your copulation.
- Buy Bed. Free. 1 Night Stand.
To get your
communications – contracts, manuals, instructions, videos, websites, social media, conferences and more – translated correctly with guaranteed accuracy in 120+ languages, please contact
the experts at Auerbach International