Language Translations – Tips on Avoiding Embarassment

Given the global nature of today’s marketplace, navigating through the myriad cultures and languages can be a bit of a challenge. Syntax, word placement, and cultural idioms make up a minefield in which one misstep can be the difference between success or ridicule. Even when someone else appears to be using English, it might not mean what you think. For instance, a German mother would be remiss if she forgot to put lunch in her child’s “Body-Bag” (messenger bag), and even more at a loss if the battery of her “Handy” (cellphone) died.

So how does one go about translating important info from one language to another? Well, you’ve got quite a few options, but the quality of the translation varies quite a bit between them.

How to Not Fuck Up Important Translations

Some might try using an online service such as Google Translate, a decent solution for simple requests without a lot of complexity. Google Chrome performs a great in page translation of foreign websites, assuming you can bridge the “contextual gaps”, and text translators do a fair job for simple sentences. However, anything with any length or importance should be reserved for professional translators such as

This is because automated services, such as those listed above, perform straight word scans and leave much to be desired in the field of context and word placement. Furthermore how could you, the person who doesn’t know the language, be fully confident that it is even tacitly related to what you were trying to relate. Can you really risk your professional and personal reputation on a piece of technology prone to error?


Whether making the leap into a foreign language with a product, personal contract, or a financial investment, it’s always best handled by a professional translation service. Remember gentlemen, you get what you pay for, and I for one am unwilling to risk my money, my time, or my reputation on a webpage with some clever code and a big name.



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Philosopher, writer, bad-pun maker and enjoyer of novelty. I enjoy bikes, video games, and beer all at the same time. When it comes to reading, I can and do.

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