The Importance of Food Translations

Let’s imagine you were hiking in the woods when you saw a sign written in a language you don’t understand. You decide to press on, only to find out far too late the sign was warning you that you were walking into a habitat of bears who haven’t found any food in weeks.

While not that exaggerated, similar problems will arise if you receive improper translations on your food labels. But it’s only a translation of calories and ingredients, right? Where’s the importance of that?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to break down the importance of food translations! So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Food Translations Help Sell Your Product

Food translation is so important because it allows companies to prevent some significant PR blunders when introducing their food to other countries. One notable instance came when Coca-Cola was first getting introduced to China. The phonetic translation boiled down to “bite the wax tadpole”, and the Coke executives had to scramble to find a compromise before they became the laughing-stock of China.

It’s also important to note that every country has different regulations for their food labels. For example, more than 60 nations require you to mention if the food has genetically engineered or modified ingredients, but the U.S. did not require it until recently. Certain countries even require labels to be printed in multiple languages to accommodate their population (like Canada, which needs both English and French). 

Finally, food translation can end up working as something of a PR stunt. A company that shows a willingness to translate its food products has a greater chance of appearing culturally sensitive and gaining positive attention than a company that doesn’t.

Food Safety

Food labels that aren’t translated place customers at risk of ingesting a product that could prove harmful to them. After all, if they don’t understand the expiration date or can’t tell that an ingredient they are allergic to is in the food, you will have an angry customer. That’s why you need a translator who’s familiar with the industry because they will know what to look for.

This applies to more than food labels. Mistranslating a recipe (or not at all) could lead to the dish not being prepared correctly or even in a way that proves harmful to the consumer. With translation, you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into when you cook or order something.

On a less dire note, translating food labels allows customers to find food that fits their diet and steer clear of products that have preservatives or ingredients they don’t want to eat. This is invaluable for customers trying to eat healthily, and that appreciation will translate into sales.

Time to Get Translating

And there you have it! Now that you know why food translations are so important, you’re ready to start incorporating them into your business. And if you’re looking for some help doing that, reach out to us and see how we can help!

After all, you don’t want your product to end up the next “bite the wax tadpole”.