Fred Bennett, the owner of Nelson’s Brewers bar and restaurant in New Zealand, launched his restaurant and soon started serving Thai food to cater to the Thai community in his area.
After hiring a Thai chef, his chef suggested a new name for his restaurant in Thai that translated to “Welcome and see you again” in English. Bennett liked the idea, had a new sign crafted with the Thai translation he was provided, and all was well…or so he thought.
After a few months, he wondered why there were no members of the Thai community dining at his restaurant. Well, his questions were soon answered when his Thai chef was replaced by a new one. The new Thai chef pointed out that his sign (written only in Thai) did not say “Welcome and see you again” at all in English. The direct English translation was “Go Away and Don’t Come Back.”
This is why no matter how big or small the project, one must always use a professional translation agency. Even a project that appears small, such as dual-sided bilingual translated business cards, a translation blunder like this can obliterate any chance for a successful first impression in business.
Bennett has since changed the name of his restaurant to “Victory Thai” in hopes of reestablishing his roots in the Thai community. However, the damage has already been done. Bennett went on to say, “That’s why it pays to do research” and we couldn’t agree more.
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