Translation Errors Cause Lost Revenue in 80 Percent of Global Firms

Product launches delayed due to communication ignorance

MAIDENHEAD, U.K.--()--Eight out of 10 international businesses are suffering because of translation errors, causing lost revenue, delayed product launches or even fines for non-compliance, according to SDL International.

40 percent of respondents to a survey of global businesses claimed that translation errors have caused delayed product launches. Seven percent reported receiving fines for non-compliance because they failed to translate material accurately. In response, Global Information Management provider SDL International, which carried out the survey, is warning businesses that they need to improve their translation and localization processes to avoid serious impact on the bottom line.

In an age of global business, its unacceptable that translation issues are still causing such significant delays, said Chris Boorman, Chief Marketing Officer at SDL International. As product lifecycles get shorter and launches become increasingly frequent, speed to market is everything and delays will continue to result in huge revenue loss. Keeping material consistent in all markets is vital to success. A lethargic approach to language simply wont work

The survey also revealed that:

  • Half of the firms surveyed have on average 10 different departments involved in the process of localizing information
  • Only 37 percent of these are planning to develop a strategy in the next six months to combat these issues

International firms cannot compete globally in only one language, continued Boorman. The majority of organizations are still relying on outdated methods for their corporate communications which is costing money on a number of fronts being first to market is pointless if you cannot communicate with your audience. Articulating your message in the local language with relevance and appropriate nuance is the only way to ensure success and must be at the heart of any global marketing strategy.

Cutting time-to-market and avoiding translation errors cannot be achieved until businesses realize the importance of getting localization right, said Boorman. As everyone should know, it doesnt matter how loud you shout if youre speaking the wrong language, you simply wont be heard.

About SDL International

SDL International (London Stock Exchange: SDL) is the leader in Global Information Management (GIM) solutions that empower organisations to accelerate the delivery of high-quality multilingual content to global markets. Its enterprise software and services integrate with existing business systems to manage global information from authoring to publication and throughout the distributed localisation supply chain.

Global industry leaders rely on SDL to provide enterprise software or hosted services for their GIM processes, including Audi, Bayer, Best Western, Bosch, Canon, Deutsche Bank, Kodak, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Reuters and SAP. SDL has implemented more than 150 enterprise GIM solutions, has deployed over 140,000 software licenses across the GIM ecosystem and provides access to on-demand translation portals for 10 million customers per month. Over 1,000 service professionals deliver consulting, implementation and language services through its global infrastructure of more than 50 offices in 30 countries. For more information, visit

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SDL International
Nicola Bogle, +44 (0)1628 417225


SDL International
Nicola Bogle, +44 (0)1628 417225