5 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Amazon Listing Translation

Sep 3, 2019




For successful Amazon sellers, it’s a natural progression to move from selling a product or brand in one country to selling it in foreign markets.

While it may seem like your hot product will sell like hot cakes in another country, the fact is that its original listing will be ill-suited to the task. In order to compete abroad, you’re going to need your Amazon FBA listing translated.

But, simply translating the language of an Amazon listing is not enough. Ever tried translating something using Google translate and having a local laugh at you? Your listing in a foreign market will have the same effect if you’re not using a professional Amazon translation service.

Let’s take a closer look into 5 mistakes you’re making with your Amazon listing translation.


1. You Used a Cheap Translator



Hiring a cheap translator from a job board may seem cost-effective, but that person doesn’t have the Amazon sales and marketing skills needed to optimize your listing for a new market. You may not even get a decent word-for-word translation.

Avoid Amazon’s auto-translate (and even other free services like Google Translate) at all cost – unless you want your listing to sound like it has been translated by a person with poor vocabulary skills.

Having your listing written properly, in understandable and clear language, is essential to gaining sales traffic. Pay for someone to do it right the first time, or you’ll pay more later in lost sales revenue.

Sometimes, the cheapest things, or the ones for free cost us the most!

What does a regular translator know about Amazon keyword research or keyword placement?

Don’t hire neighour’s kid who just finished his studies in France, he doesn’t have the required knowledge do translate the Amazon listing the right way.


2. You Didn’t Optimize Your Listing for a Foreign Market


If you’ve already optimized your listing for your home market (such as the US), you may think that all you need to do is simply translate it and upload it to the foreign Amazon market. That’s simply not the case.

Each culture – and its potential buyers – has different needs, desires, and ways of being appealed to. For instance, one country may do better sales with a more emotional style of copywriting on the listing, where another may respond more to facts (i.e. the US versus German market).

The listing title may need to change to appeal to trends, cultural differences or to include appropriate local slang. Small differences in language can mean a big difference in overall sales and ranking.

Even images might need to change, because some marketplaces respond better to different styles of photos.

There is always that great story about Hyundai Kona. Its name sounds very similar to the Portuguese word “cona”, which is a very vulgar expression for the female genital.

Hyundai’s solution to the problem: The Kona will be sold as the “Kauai” (a main island of Hawaii) on the Portuguese market. The Opel Ascona was also pretty unpopular in Portugal.

Would you drive a car named “I hope”? Well, that’s exactly what the Spanish word “espero” means. And although it may actually be fitting for that car (you never know if it will start), Daewoo reacted by renaming it to “Aranos” in some Spanish-speaking countries.


amazon listing optimization mistake -car example

Failed translation example: ”Hyundai Kona”. The car is sold now in Portugal as the Hyundai Kauai, because Kona is too similar to ”cona” (the slang word for the female genitalia in Portuguese).


3. You Didn’t Do Keyword Research in the New Language


Every part of your translated listing needs to be optimized for its new location – and especially your listing’s keywords.

A very common mistake is to translate your original listing’s keywords into a foreign language, then expect the same results. This can lead to having some truly bad keywords in your listing, due to differences in meaning and/or how those words rank in the place where you’re going to be selling your products.

Always research the keywords in the local language of the marketplace, and if possible have a native speaker do that research for you. Having the right keywords in place is going to make or break your product in the new market.

Let’s say you want to use your keyword which is: sweetened milk can, if you translate it with Google translate, you would get this:



But if you try to search for this term on Amazon, you won’t get the product you were looking for. You would get the following results:


amazon translation mistakes


So, nowhere near your desired product.

But if you go to a native translator, and do the keyword research from scratch, you would get the result of: leche condensada, which will lead you to the desired product:


amazon fba translation fail example


4. Didn’t Convert Measurements



Not converting your measurements in an international listing seems like a small problem. The small problem is that what your customer bought was too small, and now you’re stuck with a return and maybe a poor review.

Be sure to convert your product’s measurements from the US to metric (or vice versa). Confused customers aren’t going to do this themselves – they’ll simply buy a product from another listing where the sizes make sense.

Pro tip: Be aware of relative clothing sizes. A Medium in the US be a Large in Asia, so keep all your measurements synced to the new market’s size standards.


5. Not Hiring a Translator with Amazon Experience


An Amazon listing has a unique way of using language and words, especially when compared to other online stores. In order for your foreign listing to be successful, it needs to be properly translated and optimized by someone with experience in the Amazon marketplace.

This assures you of a properly translated, optimized, and locally-correct keyword-populated listing that will attract, rank, and convert. Your description and Enhanced Brand Content will be carefully crafted towards making sales in your new market.

If you’re serious about scaling your business globally and you want to avoid these listing translation mistakes, you’ll want your foreign listings handled by Amazon translation services experts.

YLT offers German, French, Spanish, Italian, Spanish for Mexico, and Japanese Amazon listing language translations.

We approach Amazon listing translations from an Amazon seller’s point of view, which will give your product the visibility it needs to succeed.

Contact YLT today to find out how to translate your Amazon listing and grow your Amazon business internationally.