It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a ski resort in possession of a UK customer list must be in want of a good translator.

If Jane Austen were writing about ski resorts, she may have been tempted to write the above. Even more so if she received an email like the one below, from Alpe d’Huez:


Alpe d'huez email


‘Weekend ti prepare your bike season’

Okay, it’s got a typo and doesn’t make grammatical sense, but we get it – it’s about a weekend in Alpe d’Huez to prepare for the bike season.

And as Alpe d’Huez is ‘la montée mythique’, we ignored the lack of text in the email (aside from a link to the resort’s home page), and went straight to the attached pdf.

‘The Best Destination to Prepare Your Bike Season’


alpe dhuez velo


Again, this doesn’t make sense in English. ‘Prepare your bike season’? ‘Recovery of bike’?

I can see there’s an offer, but it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with cycling.  The deals include the gym, a massage and ‘personal advice’ on ‘the muscle preparation’, but a ski lift pass is included.

Should I bring my bike?  Does this have anything to do with cycling at all?  I’m certainly not going to be sharing it on any of the blogs that I write for…because I don’t understand the message.

The moral of the story

If you want to communicate with the British market, work with a British agency. Then again, I’m biased…


By Iain Martin