Healthy Translation

Nutritional information: You are what you eat

In today’s food industry, a good translation can sometimes make all the difference in the retail success of a product.  These days, consumers are searching for ways to make more wholesome and enlightened choices at the grocery store and are paying much more attention to the names of products, packaging and labels – all essential elements of a company’s marketing.

Bringing home the Canadian bacon

This trend in nutritional information is reinforced in Canadian legislation, where regulations on food and nutrition, specifically regarding accurate nutrition labelling, are some of the strictest around. With bilingual requirements for label layouts, presentation and advertising standards, the producer/distributor has to constantly juggle marketing with regulation, which can sometimes feel like apples and oranges.

Don’t get stuck in a pickle

Most would think that ‘’low-fat’’ and ‘’ fat-reduced’’ mean the same thing and are translated as ‘’faible en gras.’’  Not so!  It all depends on the percentage of fat in the product itself, which means that ‘’fat-reduced’’ really isn’t necessarily low in fat.   Just like ‘’chocolate-flavour cookies’’ are not necessarily chocolate cookies or, ‘’biscuits au chocolat.’’  Translating ‘’flavour,’’ which can be ‘’arôme,’’ ‘’saveur,’’ or ‘’goût,’’ depending on the product, context and branding strategy, can certainly be one tough nut to crack.

TRSB : the crème de la crème

Having to classify, name and label everything in both official languages can be quite the hot potato, one that only the most experienced translation agencies can handle. Even the slightest nuance in the translation can have significant consequences, so the producer, manufacturer or distributor has to carefully select an agency with a team of translators who are fully entrenched in the target market so that they can adapt the branding philosophy of their product.  Add to that veteran terminologists, specialized in the food industry and who will research and translate with absolute accuracy all of the minute, yet critical, details of a label, and you have a winning recipe!