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Knowledge Center About Language Translation

Guide to Marketing Translation

Marketing translation is different. Marketing translation needs a touch of creativity that goes beyond translation. That’s why it is also called creative translation or trans-creation.

Plain translation of a slogan and literal translation of advertisement copy can be boring to read. In order to justice to the original, one has to get behind the concept and understand the intended message. This will help in crafting language translation and bring out the essence of the content. Apart from this, there other points to note for a successful multi-lingual campaign.

Get the Target Profile well defined:

It is important to know the target audience or the customer for whom the communication is meant for. The profile of the target audience in terms age group, gender, education, occupation, lifestyle, and any other factor that are relevant will enable translation style change and appropriate use of words.

Understand the Market:

Idiomatic translation and use of some words which are appropriate translations may be good but may not work in certain market. It will create dissonance as it does not go with the culture of the market. Use of words and colors are sensitive as the lifestyle often changes from market to market and they have their likes and dislikes. No one would like to get into such sensitive areas. Certain uses of words are disrespectful in certain countries while the same are very commonly used in other countries causing no offence.

Get a style guide done:

Marketing communication like corporate communication has a tone of communication and mandatories which has to be followed across all languages for uniformity. Some companies have laid done policies while in other cases the style gets evolved. For example United Colors of Benetton has an approach to marketing communication which is quite different from let’s say Raymonds. Careful consideration of the brand values enable translator to adapt a style which is in keeping with its corporate philosophy

Get to know the media:

As message matters so is the media and the market. Professional translators always ask for the media usage and the market. It is essential to get an idea of the market and the media with its reach in different regions. This is an important consideration as the translator can do the linguistic changes for the same language translation. For example Spanish in Spain is different than Spanish in Brazil. Tailoring the copy to suit the market will make a good reading for the target audience.

Get a clear brief:

Now get a clear brief on the new market, the language for translation and customers’ level of product experience in such target market. For example a fashion product in an advanced country will go beyond the basics and communicate on the aspirational. In the new market for translation, you will note that the market is not matured and therefore translation will tailor the message differently to communicate the need as well as aspirational benefit.

Be Creative:

Think yourself as a creative copywriter and adapt the original rendition in target language. A translator here should be able to appreciate the tone and style as well as the idiomatic use to create the desired impact. This appreciation will enable transforming the same tone and style using such phrases and idioms commonly used in the target language. The final product will bring the essence of original and also create the same or greater impact. For example there was a famous advertising campaign for soft-drink brand Thumsup. The headline in English read “Taste the Thunder”. Marketing translation is actually a trans- creator with the creative touch to bring out the power of original in the target language by coining headline that goes with the proposition which is ‘experience the feeling of success or achievement after drinking Thums up’ .

Add Value:

Craftsmanship is key. Be a wordsmith. Catchy lines are in plenty in local language and they are so apt sometimes to drive the point across that you would be happy to use. Give this value addition to client. They will love it.

Plan weeks ahead for any project that require marketing translation and coordinate with the marketing team to find out the launch detail, media and the product.

Successful marketing translation comes out of partnering with the translation company and involving at the concept stage itself. Bhasha Bharati Arts, the pioneer in marketing translation of advertising campaigns in all Indian languages for over four decades has a full-fledged language studio to take care of translation cum final release material.


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