Missed Your Release Date: Fire Or Hire?

Just caught up with this: “Translation errors cause lost revenue In 80% of global firms. Product launches delayed due to communication ignorance.”

Well, that’s what the press release from SDL International tells me. This was issued in March, but I’ve only picked up on it now. Sounds like interesting stuff. I could use this in my MSc course’s module about managing external suppliers, maybe, I thought.

The press release continues:

“Eight out of ten international businesses are suffering because of translation errors, causing lost revenue, delayed product launches or even fines for non-compliance. 40% of respondents to a survey of global businesses claimed that translation errors have caused delayed product launches. A shocking result, 7% reported receiving fines for non-compliance because they failed to translate material accurately.”

Alas, the survey itself, who carried it out, and how many business of what type, is not disclosed in the release. Of course, SDL are in an ideal situation to offer a solution, which is fair enough.

Picture of Richard Sikes. All Localization Institute rights acknowledged.

It could be really interesting to know how much revenue the businesses lost (reminds me of Richard Sike’s research in estimating the cost of not internationalizing – that’s him above.) and also what trade-off mechanisms, if any, were used. If they decided to live with the losses because it cost a zillion quid to update stuff, then well and good. But if not…

Of course, the corollary of the argument to investing in another solution could be that maybe it’s not investment in technology these companies need, but to fire their project managers and vendors… wink

Ho Hum.

Ultan Ó Broin
Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally. Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.


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