This sign was spotted in a shopping center where a major chain retailer was located. Do you see what the problem is?

English to Spanish Raleigh - Poor Spanish Translation Example

The direct translation of the Spanish language sign basically says:

“Parking reserved for [our]* clients Your vehicles can tow you Don’t be lazy”

That’s a pretty different message than what the English version reads!

This is a prime example of larger companies making small translation mistakes that can cost them. Unfortunately, this is what can happen when you rely on an online tool or the “expertise” of a Hispanic employee. The result is a huge dent in your branding and even worse, a potential loss in revenue.

Signs and messages like these speak volumes to the Spanish-speaking population. At English to Spanish Raleigh, our translators are native Spanish-speakers, familiar with the little things that matter when ensuring accurate, culturally relevant, and non-offensive translation. Contact us today using the form below to see how we can help you with your next English to Spanish translation project.

*Store name not provided, as to protect the privacy of this U.S. chain.


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Elsa Jimenez is a native Spanish speaker who was born and raised in a Hispanic country. She is an accomplished lawyer and translator who has been living and working in the U.S. for many years and is also a member of the American Translators Association.

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