In the digital age, websites are essential aspects of brands and businesses. Why then are there so many boring, badly written websites?I consider myself an expert here since I translate dozens and dozens of websites and thousands of wordsof website contents from Spanish to English.
Although presented with endless mind-numbing, irrelevant claptrap, I still do my best to transform over-flowery, pedantic, convoluted textswith a punchiness that is so often lacking in the Spanish original. Who do these people think they are writing for? Sadly, despite my best efforts, half the time these companies would be better off uploading some pretty pictures and factual details of their products and services with the company’s contact details. This goes for massive, multinationals and small companies alike.
To illustrate, the following is a typical extract from a local company’s website. Not only is the translation gut-wrenchingly awful (obviously not done by a professional, but then you get what you pay for) but the content is typical of the bog standard rubbish I am presented with on a daily basis.
“In over XXXX m2 of the principal production factory situated in XXXX we develop sustainable policies which makes us a leader in resource optimization. Also, our structure allows us to adjust our production lines on the basis of each order, with absolute capacity to adapt and answer the demand of our customers.
Ultimately, and after 40 years of experience, what we demand of ourselves forces us not to stop, to innovate and improve towards efficiency. Because we believe in a new way of being. To reinvent. Grow. Evolve. Reach the objective and once achieved start again.”
Does that sound familiar? I bet it does! While we are on the subject, what, pray tell me, is a ‘leader in resource optimization”? What does it mean to “believe in a new way of being” and what do they demand that ‘forces them not to stop, to innovate and improve towards efficiency’? They make shopping bags by the way, so I imagine thatwhen they say that they “adjust our production lines on the basis of each order” they mean that they change the colour of thread in the sewing machines?
In contrast, here is part of the website published by a German manufacturing firm.
“Our high-quality transport and storage containers are developed and manufactured exclusively in Germany. Our wide range of products is manufactured on computer-controlled machines in our modern plants in XXXX, where innovations are promptly put into practice.
This way we ensure best quality, economical production and flexibility.”
What is the difference? Well, to start with, the person who translated the German text speaks English and the person who wrote the original content does not have verbal diarrhoea. The two texts have more or less the same meaning, but while the first is unintelligible and irritating, the latter is concise and informative. Content writers, please take note!