Are you being understood?

I recently read an article on the BBC website describing some of the greatest mistranslations. There are some hilarious examples of phrases uttered in one language becoming mangled with a completely different meaning after an interpreter has translated them. One phrase has President Jimmy Carter saying “I left the United States this morning” being translated into Polish as “I left the United States never to return!”.


Now I don’t imagine that interpreter worked for the President again…


Whilst we may never have to translate our speeches into another language there is a valuable lesson to be learned. As communicators we need to know that what is important is NOT what we say, but WHAT the receiver hears.

When you are preparing your presentation, elevator pitches, or short remarks you need to be aware of the thought, feelings, and prejudices of the listener and tailor your language appropriately.


If you think this is hard…. Console yourself in the knowledge that you have total control – and you don’t need to rely upon a translator!


If you want help with your presentation or pitches contact Mark to find out more about his mentoring packages

About The Author

Mark Kyte

Mark Kyte is a public speaking mentor and founder of the Public Speaking Skills Academy. Mark loves helping clients achieve dynamic results that help them increase their influence and get more clients. Read more of his blog and if you like what you see check out the mentoring programs.