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Food Packaging Translation - A Serious Business

Food Packaging Translation – A Serious Business Indeed

We place a vast amount of trust in the veracity of the information provided on food packaging. For those with food allergies, their lives can depend on the information that the packaging provides. For those who are dieting (whether for personal or medical reasons), ingredients and calorific values both have to be spot on. Then there are the cooking instructions – a mistake in the details of how to cook products such as pork or fish could have fatal consequences. That’s why there are so many rules and regulations around food labelling. It’s also why translating food packaging is such a serious business.

Food labelling – the legal context

Food labelling requirements differ from country to country. In the UK, the law requires that food and drink products must have labels that are permanent, easy to read and understand, easily visible and not misleading. The label has to include the name of the food, a ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date, quantity information and any necessary warnings.

These warnings include allergen information and a range of specific warnings relating to certain ingredients or preparation methods. For example, foods and drinks with more than 150 mg/l of caffeine must state that they are, “Not suitable for children, pregnant women and persons sensitive to caffeine.” Meanwhile, raw milk must state that “This milk has not been heat-treated and may, therefore, contain organisms harmful to health.”

Where a food product has two or more ingredients, these must be listed on the label, with the main ingredient first and the others following in weight order. Common allergens must be highlighted as part of the list. Read more

Packaging localisation for Glorious Foods

Glorious Day for Soup!

We’ve been working on a great deal of food packaging translation projects in the last few years. Helping some of the UK’s largest supermarkets and food providers gear their products for sale abroad is no small task. Large scale EU regulatory changes called the FIR are coming into force and are certainly keeping our translation teams uber busy.

One of our most recent clients Glorious Foods, really brightened the office today when 3 massive refrigeration boxes arrived filled with all manner of luxury soups and sauces. Glorious pride themselves on producing food containing bold and unexpected flavours, just looking at their product descriptions immediately shows off their passion. Translating this passion is a creative challenge for our linguists, but without doubt a very rewarding one too.

Localising product descriptions

 

Needless to say our team were eager to sample the produce, you know to ensure our translations properly reflect the quality of the product… so in the name of education, each pot was rapidly assigned a name tag and stowed till lunch (for the most part, some of the team skipped breakfast apparently). Our office fridge now looks like it would feel right at home in a shared student flat 🙂

Translating food packaging for Glorious Foodsfood packaging for Glorious Foods

Big thanks again to the team at Glorious, you might just be our new favourites 😉

Take a look at their wonderful range of products over on their site www.gloriousfoods.co.uk

 

…now where’s that spoon?

Avoiding Poor Sales due to Flawed Label Translation

Avoiding Poor Sales due to Flawed Label Translation

This is a guest post from the team over at Globalvision Inc. They produce specialised software solutions for managing the packaging creation and artwork process.

As global sales opportunities continue to increase, in part due to the growth trend of emerging markets, companies continue to benefit from investing in international advertising and product exports. As well as adhering to packaging quality control regulations, which are often not clearly defined in developing countries; companies have to pay attention when adapting their offerings to the cultural and social customs of their international customers, as well as language use and verbal expressions. This is an extremely important factor when it comes to both branding and label translation.

Famous brands such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Milka, and The American Dairy Association have all learned about this the hard way. Due to an inadequate translation process and careless research, these companies have all suffered huge product recalls and sales losses at some point in their localisation history.

So, new brands hitting the global market should learn from the lessons the big guys taught us, instead of trying to promote and sell brands and products as you would within a domestic market, it is imperative to understand the cultural differences between countries that tend to prevent this from being a successful strategy. Read more

Bad Translations From the Food Industry: 7 Sickening Translation Fails

Bad translations are bad business.  You might think it doesn’t matter that much if a translation is perfect. Google Translate is good enough. Hey, it’s free! They’ll get the idea, right? Wrong. Bad translations not only make your company look stupid, they can also insult, offend or even disgust your potential customers. To prove it, here are 7 food industry translation fails guaranteed to make you sick to your stomach.

*Disclaimer: K International obviously had nothing to do with any of these translations.**

Hope you weren’t eating…

Bad Translations From the Food Industry: Smell of What?!?

smell-of-urine-yellow-croaker

Why would anyone want to order fish that smells like pee? As it turns out, “Quishan smell of urine yellow croaker” is a common but unfortunate translation for “Qíshān sàozi huángyú 岐山臊子黄鱼,” a popular Chinese seafood dish. The picture above is one of several different photos circulating online with the same translation.

There’s got to be an explanation for this, right?

Yes! According to Language Log, the Chinese word “sàozi” can have several different meanings depending on tone. One of those meanings is, in fact, “smell of urine.”

But that’s not the correct meaning in this context, of course. Here’s a better translation, again courtesy of Language Log:

“It turns out that sàozi 臊子 is a type of sauce made from minced pork cooked with vinegar, red pepper, and many other seasonings. So a better translation would be “yellow croaker with minced pork sauce à la Qishan”.

That sounds much more appealing!

Photo: Engrish.com Read more

Translation interview for Packaging today
Interview with packaging today

Our business development manager, Clare Daley, was recently interviewed by packaging today, a leading European industry magazine,  about the importance of translation in international packaging. She discusses some of the concerns distributors need to address and tips on avoiding the pitfalls that can sink a packaging translation project. You can read the entire article over at the packaging today site and find out more about our specialist food packaging translation service right here.