product labels

Multilingual Product Labelling Tips to get Your Goods Over the Border

Selling your products overseas is a fantastic opportunity, but it’s not a walk in the park. Expanding into new markets often comes with a number of requirements that differ from region to region.

Multilingual product labelling is one requirement that businesses have struggled with in the past. Non-compliant labels can lead to shipment delays that leave your products and your customers in limbo and cost your business money.

To help you expand into overseas markets with ease, we’ve compiled a number of multilingual product labelling tips, including common product labelling problems and the fixes you can put in place to ensure your products make it over the border.

1. Translated labels must be accurate

A translation error on a product label is more than just a mishap. Instead, it’s a barrier that could keep your products out of new markets and even potentially expose your business to legal liability.

Given the potential severity of the consequences, translation errors are surprisingly common (as you can see from these disastrous examples), particularly when businesses choose to cut corners with Google Translate. All it takes is a very simple mistake for a business to land itself in very hot water.

product labelling mistake

As an example, one business translated the ‘may contain nuts’ warning on its UK packaging to ‘Peut contenir des noix’ for the French market. The problem was that ‘noix’ translates as ‘walnuts’ and not the generic tree nuts that many people are allergic to. You don’t need us to tell you how serious that error could have been.

2. Labels must contain relevant allergen information

Food allergies are a hot topic these days and rightfully so given just how serious the impact of failing to label products properly can be. Food labelling regulations are designed to ensure that businesses provide customers with information to keep themselves safe.

The trouble is that labelling laws vary by country. In the UK, the fresh food labelling laws are soon expected to change as a result of the recent and tragic Pret a Manger case when Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died after eating an unlabelled baguette containing sesame seeds.

Sesame seeds are actually a good case in point. In the United States, sesame seeds are not required to be listed as an allergen. However, they are in Europe, Canada and Australia. With so many different regulations in play from one region to the next, it’s easy to see how allergen information could be missing or improperly listed for particular markets.

3. Labels have to be compliant

There are all sorts of product labelling compliance issues that businesses need to be aware of. For example, in the EU, there are universal standards for font sizes to ensure all fine print can be read. Multilingual product labelling makes compliance even more of a challenge because the more markets you enter, the more rules there are to comply with.

The fix: Accurate and compliant over-stickers

Fortunately, there is a simple fix you can put in place to resolve some of these common multilingual product labelling issues.

If you do make one of these common multilingual product labelling mistakes, we can produce compliant over-stickers that can be used on your products so they can be delivered without delay.

The process is simple:

  • We translate the original label into the target market’s language. We can even create multilingual over-stickers if your products are destined for a number of different regions.
  • You can then check the labels are compliant in your target market.
  • The labels are desktop published and printed before being stuck to your products.

The expert assistance you need

At Linguistica International, our team is on hand to create accurately translated product labels and over-stickers to meet the most demanding deadlines. To discuss your requirements, please call our team on 02392 987 765 or email