Monday, July 02, 2007

How To Say 'I Am Allergic To Peanuts' In 22 Languages

I hope you enjoyed lifehack that allows US businesses get free business cards. This is another card story, similar to dating cards we profiled last week.

Travellers with food allergies or other dietary restrictions, who don't want their diets to get in the way of enjoying international culture and cuisine, are now catered to by Canadian Allergy Translation Cards. The company's credit card-sized printouts can be customized to suit a person's dietary needs and travel destination—with information available on more than 175 food allergies and 11 special diets, which can be translated into 22 languages.

To get their cards, customers simply log on to Allergy Translation’s website and enter information about their particular food allergies or sensitivities. They can choose from a long list of common allergens, including nuts and seeds, shellfish, soy and berries. There also are options for special diets such as gluten-free, vegetarian, kosher, halal, low-fat or low-carb. They then select the language of their destination, so the information can be translated for customers to share with restaurant staff, grocers and hosts. For $8 they can print as many copies as they like. It's an easy way to ensure that dietary restrictions are accurately communicated, without having to fumble through the pages of a foreign language dictionary. And since they can be printed instantly, spur-of-the-moment trips aren’t an issue.

A simple and practical way for food allergy sufferers to buy peace of mind, Allergy Translation Cards could be a smart investment for health insurance companies. The concept can also be replicated to other types of information. Cheat sheets for business travellers, for example, with customized translations of the phrases most relevant to their industry or travel purpose. While consumers might not be as likely to pay for information that isn’t potentially life-saving, offering free, relevant information to a narrowly targeted audience can bring in the ad dollars, yens and francs.

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