When ‘No’ doesn’t exactly Mean ‘No’
18 May, 2015
Our colleague Magnus, native Swedish speaker, sent us this picture from an automatic teller machine in Spain:
The quality is not very good, and we have removed sensitive data (and of course the name of the Bank), but some of you will spot the error easily.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Swedish grammar, here is the explanation:
We all know how to withdraw cash from these machines, don’t we? If we want to continue with the operation, we press Yes (Ja in Swedish). And if we do not want to continue with such operation, we press No, which should be Nej in Swedish. However, as you can see in the picture, it reads Inte, which means Not (the particle used to build negative sentences in Swedish).
This is a very common error in companies that prefer to take shortcuts in their international communication strategy. First impressions are very important, and this apparently tiny error can prevent this bank from getting a client. It does not prevent you from withdrawing money but, would you trust a bigger operation in a bank that does not give you accurate information in your language?
Oral, written and visual communication are extremely important for companies, no matter if they are an international bank or a small shop in a tourist area. The way you communicate things will define the way your clients and potentials will perceive the services you are offering them, and approaching them in their language will make them feel at ease and make a step in the so difficult world of getting and engaging clients.
If you want to know how we can help you to go global and break language barriers thanks to translation, do not hesitate to contact us.
Communication, Translation, Translation Errors