Business Translation Services used by Airlines

The air travel business is on the rise. Recently, more and more people have been choosing air transport to make their trips. Air travel around the world has been increasing rapidly over the last few decades, as has the number of air companies rivalling each other in terms of price. Due to this tough competition amongst airlines, sometimes they do not take enough care over some of the services that they are offering, such as business translation services. So why is translation so important in this industry, and what are the consequences of not offering a high quality service?

Just like in any other international industry, business translation services must be taken seriously for a company to succeed. Tourism services like airlines, which will be used by so many customers from so many nationalities, must offer reading materials, brochures, pamphlets or videos about their services in the customers’ languages, and the quality of these translations will reflect the professionalism of the business.

An illustration of how this professionalism towards business translation services is not applied is the case of a Chinese airline that recently got in trouble. Business translators working for an airline corporation called China Airlines incorrectly translated a the name of a county in Taiwan and included it on one of the inflight maps. One day, a Taiwanese traveller noticed the error. They took offence to it and made a complaint to the airline. Afterwards, the tourist board for the county also complained to China Airlines.

This event made the company appear unprofessional and gave it bad publicity from the media, creating a bad image of the company, and probably losing a lot of clients. All due to a simple translation mistake, which could have been easily avoided by taking more care over the commercial translation service that they use.

Using a good translation service will not only avoid errors like the one above, concerning words or numbers, but also those which can be caused by cultural differences. One instance of this is what happened in the opening flight to Hong Kong of an American airline (United Airlines). The airline had the idea of giving white carnations to the staff and passengers, having no clue that white carnations in Hong Kong symbolize death.

As soon as they found out, they changed them to red carnations, which symbolise good fortunes. Although they ultimately solved the situation, I wonder about the sadness, and possibly terror, those passengers felt when they were given the carnations in the first place; have any of our readers experienced anything similar? Once again, here is an example of how a silly mistake may be extremely detrimental to your business. Don’t take that risk – employ a quality translation provider!

Visit our business translation services page to find out more about how translation can help your business.