Word geeks like translators and editors are always wittering on about poor translations or badly written web material being bad for business, because they make a company look sloppy or unreliable.
Well, I saw this belief in action during our recent trip to Lisbon. We needed to hire a car, and I asked my 16-year-old daughter, Olivia, to do some web research and find the best deal. In addition to the big names like Europcar and Avis she looked at the websites of some local firms recommended by our hotel (the lovely York House).
Olivia’s shortlist contained at least one local firm but she plumped for one of the big internationals, even though it was slightly dearer. When I asked her why, she explained that the local firms had mistakes in their English translations and didn’t provide enough information or contact details in their clunky-to-use websites. So she didn’t think we could trust them.
By Marian Dougan