Grilling Mickey

Translating Success: How One Marketing Manager Navigated a Product Launch in Germany

Caption: “Sasha’s story of overcoming language barriers and ensuring the success of a crucial product launch in Germany with the help of a reliable translation company.”

barbeque grillsSasha was in a state of panic. As the digital marketing manager for a company that makes barbeque grills, she was responsible for supporting a crucial product launch in Germany. But all her content and messaging were in English. She had a deadline to meet, and her team was counting on her to deliver, but the thought of translating everything herself was impossible. She didn’t speak German and didn’t know where to begin. There was no one in the company who could help her. She knew one person who lived in Germany for a couple of years and was fluent, but he told her that he was not good enough to translate and strongly recommended she use a native German. She tried to reach out to the company contacts in Germany, but they couldn’t help either. One thought that just wouldn’t leave her mind was the concern of quality. Everyone has seen translation mistakes that cost people their jobs, embarrassed companies, and ruined reputations. One that she remembered reading about when she was in school was when someone at NEC had used an online machine translation for a product launch event in Japan. The phrase that stuck in her mind? “The PC of the future is a corpse.” She remembered thinking, “How dumb, to take something so important and not do it right.”

And now, she felt bad for the person at NEC that made the mistake. They were probably overwhelmed and faced with a tight deadline and a host of other pressures. There is no way my future career is going to be a corpse either.

DisneyShe would not let the same thing happen to her. She called her friend from college working at Disney and knew she had been working with similar global messaging challenges. A couple of months ago, they were at lunch, and her friend had told her that she was struggling getting some content into Chinese.

Well, hopefully, she has made some progress on the problem because I am at a loss. I know I must get this right. She called her friend Giselle at Disney.

“Hi Giselle,” said Sasha.

“Hey Sasha, what’s up?”

“I am worried and not sure what to do. Remember when you were telling me about your problem getting some content translated to Chinese? What was that? What happened?”

worried girl“Oh, yes. That was the worst. I had used a translation company to translate some of our materials and they did it wrong. Luckily, I sent it to a colleague in China to double-check things before it went live, and they said the translation was not good. It looked like the translation company used machine translation or someone who wasn’t native. This was one of the bigger companies, and apparently, a lot of companies do that. They use machine translation and then try to clean it up because it’s cheap and fast.”

“Really? Oh no. I thought that if you used a translation company, it would be done right.”

“Yeah. So, did I. I guess there are a lot of companies who cut corners. I had spent a lot on that translation too, and the fact that I had lost time and some budget and had a translation I couldn’t use was frustrating. I was really worried about missing the deadline.”

“What did you do?” asked Sasha.

“I mentioned the issue on one of the company Slack channels, and one of the other Disney employees referred me to a company they use who has never let them down. Their whole department works with this company and has saved them a ton of money and produces great translations.”

“I reached out immediately, and I could tell they were smaller, but they knew what they were doing. I told them the issue I had, and they immediately got their Chinese linguists working on it. They were flexible with the timelines and did an extra pass at no additional charge to make sure things looked good. I sent the final translations to the same people who checked the other “market leader’s” translation and they said that it was great. It’s only been a couple of months, but they are awesome to work with. I have also found that more people in Disney use them, and they have all had the same experience.”

“Wow! Sounds like I need to contact them,” said Sasha.

“Why, what do you have going on?”

“We are launching our whole line of grills in Germany. We have some big distributors who are backing it and I am leading all the digital content for the launch. I just found out about it, and I am really worried because I have heard of mistakes that can ruin a launch. I need to get this right, Giselle.”

“Yeah, you need to call this company. The name of the company is International Translating Company. They have been in the business since the beginning of time and they have this funny motto, ‘where every word matters’. And they mean it! I’ll email you their information. Save yourself the trouble and call them, they’ll make sure everything is good.”

“I can’t thank you enough. I will contact them today. Thanks a ton.”

“No problem. Let me know how it goes and if you need anything else. We should go to lunch soon.”

“Absolutely. It will be on me.”

She had heard of translation agencies before but didn’t know if they would be able to meet her tight deadline. She felt better to be on the right track. She sent an email to the contact from Giselle. The response was quick.

“Hi Sasha,

Great to e-meet you. We love working with Giselle and everyone over there. Just send us a link to the content you need us to look at and we’ll get you a quote. If it will help, we can get on a call, and I can explain some of the basics of what we do.



She opted for the call. On the call, she explained her predicament and her tight deadline for the product launch. The ITC team assured her that they could help, and they could meet that deadline.

With the help of ITC’s team of expert linguists, Sasha’s content was translated into German and tailored to the local market. They also helped her with cultural adaptation and localization, making sure that the messaging was appropriate and effective for the German audience. When she received the translation, ITC asked if she had anyone who could check their work. They said that she would feel much better about things if she could get someone to review it. She thought that was interesting. Why would they want her to check the translation? They told her, “Because we know it’s good. But nothing is perfect and it’s important that you know it’s good as well so you can be confident in your launch.” They recommended she send it to their distributor for a review to make sure the quality was good.

She did that. The distributor came back and confirmed that it was a good translation. They said that it was clearly done by qualified native linguists, and they even used industry terms that are unique to Germany. “It’s clear, whoever did this translation cares and is good,” they said. Then it all made sense. ITC knew they did an excellent job. They knew Sasha would feel better having someone check it, and now her distributor had just endorsed ITC’s work. Genius!

Thanks to ITC, Sasha was able to meet her deadline and launch the product in Germany successfully. The launch was an enormous success, and her company saw a significant increase in sales in the German market. Her boss was impressed with her work and as a result, Sasha was promoted.

Sasha could not be happier with the results and was grateful for ITC’s help. She knew that without their expertise and timely assistance, the product launch would not have been as successful. She now recommends ITC to all her colleagues who are looking for similar services.

What is better than having a partner who makes you look good and does what they say they will? Nothing!

By Abbey Casella | June 13, 2023 | Categories: ITC | No Comments

About the Author: Abbey Casella