Translation Problems – Horned Jews and Procrastination Advice?

In order for any business to expand, they need translation services to make sure their content and products are familiar to any language. However, there are companies that prefer to use translation software for their pages. That is a very fast and cheap option to translate a website, but sadly it is not the most efficient one. In order for a foreigner to feel comfortable on a website, they must see some styles and designs that he is accustomed to, not just the language.

That being said, the translation on any business website has to be flawless. Not just to improve user experience, but also to make sure that the data it provides is accurate to avoid problems. Just so you get an idea of how much trouble inaccurate translation can be, here are a few famous examples.

Horned Moses?!

Horned Moses - Improper Translation ResultsSt. Jerome, who was the patron saint of translator, studied Hebrew so he could translate the Old Testament into Latin, seeing as the only option back then was the Greek version. The Latin version that he translated became the basis for all the other versions that came to be.

The problem is that it had an error.

When Moses descended from Mount Sinai his head had “radiance”, which in Hebrew is called “karan”. Hebrew is written without the vowels, so instead “karan”, St. Jerome wrote it as “keren” which also means “horned”. This caused centuries of art and paintings as Moses with horns and the odd offensive stereotype of the horned Jew.

Do Nothing!

In 2009 the famous HSBC bank had to spend a few million dollars to repair the damage done from the misinterpretation of one of their catch phrases. The correct one was “Assume Nothing”, but in certain countries, improper  translation revealed the catchphrase as “Do Nothing”.

Professional translation services are vital!

As you can see, having proper translation for your business is very important to avoid unnecessary expenditures and also problems that can reflect throughout time.


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