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Once we’d got used to posting pictures of our kids, pets and dinners for the benefit of our family and friends, a digital marketing epiphany happened in the corporate world, too. It dawned on businesses to start using social media for marketing purposes in the mid-noughties. Social media translation has been on the rise since, for making these messages accessible to businesses abroad.

World Social Media Day – launched by Mashable on 30th June 2010 – was born as a way to recognise social media’s impact on global communication, and to bring the world together to celebrate it.

By 2022, social media has long since been a means for us to market and help clients around the world. But embarrassing errors are made too often by companies that don’t get the translation right from one language to another.

In fact, they’re happening even in the upper echelons of the business community, where you wouldn’t expect such spectacular faux pas to be dropped.

Skye Schooley recently conducted a round up of some of the worst of the worst for Business News Daily. They included –

·        Coors – American beer brand Coors made a gigantic impression on Spanish drinkers for the wrong reasons with its ‘Turn It Loose’ campaign. “When translated into Spanish,” Skye explained, “the tagline used an expression that’s commonly interpreted as “suffer from diarrhoea.”

·        Dolce & Gabbana  – The legendary haute couture brand recently became involved in a controversy that’s particularly interesting, because it doesn’t even involve language. It blew up as a result of a series of social media ads featuring a Chinese woman trying to eat Italian food with chopsticks, and a man giving her instructions. Skye described how, “The ad was denounced, and consumers in China, one of Dolce & Gabbana’s largest markets, threatened to boycott the brand. Even the Chinese government weighed in. This demonstrates how important it is to create culturally appropriate material that appeals to each particular consumer base when advertising your brand abroad”.

You see, it all comes down to this…

How Social Media Translation Safeguards You Financially and Reputationally

Incidents like these can cost – dearly. And they’re so unnecessary.

Professional social media translation services help ensure you don’t thwart your overseas marketing efforts. They achieve this by – 

  • Adding the Human Touch – You might automatically assume you’re in the clear if you use a tool such as the language translator for Facebook Ads. But it’s machine translation, relying on AI making accurate predictions from data.
  • Providing Localised Expertise – An awesome social media translation professional understands the culture of the language they’re dealing with. This is an invaluable resource that keeps you on the right side of the country you’re trading in. It helps avert potential sniggers, raised eyebrows or plain offence. The D&G case is a prime example that extended beyond solely language translation.


At Accutranslate, we have vast experience of social media translation in the private and public sectors. If you’re the tiniest bit curious about how it can work for your business, get in touch for an initial chat on –

Or, in the spirit of the day, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Lost in Translation: 13 International Marketing Fails, Skye Schooley, Business News Daily