AaGlobal has adopted a comedy classic from its industry to commemorate its 25th year in business and emphasise the importance of good communication.
The company is sending existing customers and prospective clients the message to beware of Watery Male Sheep!
The AaGlobal team has set up a dedicated website at www.waterymalesheep.com and is distributing thousands of cards and emails showing a bemused cartoon sheep, but it also carries a serious message.
Kirk Akdemir, CEO of AaGlobal, said: “The campaign is based on an example of a ‘lost in translation’ which became quite well known in our industry. It involved a French company which was targeting buyers in the UK, but those customers ended up having a good laugh instead of considering placing any orders.”
AaGlobal’s Business Development Officer Chantelle Akdemir, who is running the campaign, explained: “The company had produced a large number of brochures for a direct mail campaign and invested thousands of pounds only to discover a big mistake – they were promoting watery male sheep instead of hydraulic rams! They’d asked someone to translate their brochure who it turned out wasn’t very good at technical terms!
“We’re using this example to highlight the importance of effective communication – and we’re also inviting people to suggest a name for the sheep in our campaign, with a prize for the best idea.”
AaGlobal’s 12,000 highly qualified and experienced linguists cover more than 500 languages and work on detailed technical and professional projects in the public and private sectors, applying specialist knowledge when required and avoiding mix-ups between engineering equipment and livestock.
Kirk said: “There are many examples of poor translation, particularly in this social media age, and they all serve as a warning. Some are funny, some are rude and offensive and some are just nonsense. It’s best to avoid them all!
“Translation is a profession. Our message to businesses is don’t take chances with your translations by Googling or asking someone for help on the basis that they speak a particular language.
“In the case of the watery male sheep, the pictures in the brochure showed what the company was trying to sell but the text undermined it. You can have a great product and fantastic prices but it can still cost you if you don’t place the right emphasis on approaching customers in their own language and doing it properly. Businesses should use a professional firm to make sure their messages are conveyed accurately whatever the language.”