Most translated marketing material is quite poor, and a poor translation of marketing copy leaves a negative brand impression in the same way that a bad presentation does.
Every translation field has its own peculiarities but the adaptation of marketing copy to several local cultures is particularly challenging. This is because translating marketing copy requires a deep understanding of the brand´s identity and target audience.
Well researched marketing translation will strengthen a brand’s identity on a global scale, while preserving its uniqueness in each market. On the other hand, literal translation of marketing copy will almost certainly damage a brand.
Marketing copy is not just about advertising, product descriptions and sales letters. A well-written content is a key driver to establish a strong international reputation and increase revenues. In this context, every single piece of copy now plays an essential role to thriving in global business.
How is Marketing Translation Different?
First of all, understanding the goal of marketing copy is paramount. Also, it is important to define the audience it will be adressed to. Only then, can translators apply the appropriate process to achieve the desired result.
In order to translate Marketing copy, some stages are required to ensure the message is creatively adapted, communicates effectively and sticks to the brand´s style.
Strong writing skills are also extremely important. Allowing writers creative freedom is key to successfully adapt marketing copy. While good technical translators are expected to be extremely accurate and as faithful as possible to the original text, marketing translators should be focused on meaning, brand values and tone of voice, not the actual words.
A literal translation can be linguistically correct but utterly useless for Marketing purposes.
Metaphors, Puns, and Idioms
Copywriters make frequent use of puns, repetition and alliteration when writing headlines, taglines or advertising copy in general. These linguistic devices are usually what make adverts appealing and memorable. Yet this sophisticated approach relies upon a detailed understanding of local culture. When taking these concepts overseas, while the language can be translated, ideas themselves may not travel so easily.
Marketing copy may include elements such as idioms, metaphors or wordplay. If possible, it is good way to preserve the subtle nuances of the language and special stylistic features of the original copy.
The transcreation process takes on board cultural considerations and idiomatic language. The resulting copy may look quite different in a literal sense, but it will say the same thing to its audience and convey the intended nuance in a way that is in line with brand character and local sensibilities.
Images and Colors
The right image will spark emotions and deliver brand messages in a compelling, persuasive, and subtle way. Thus, the choice of images, photographic style and colours plays a key role in defining the brand identity.
Nevertheless, some images may be positive in one market and have negative associations or simply make no sense in other markets and cultures.
The same goes for colours, which may have opposite connotations in different cultures. The most famous example is White, which is the colour associated with mourning and misfortune in the East while it means purity and peace in the Western cultures.
Culture, Tradition and Religion
Whether in written or iconic form, everything to do with culture, tradition and religion needs to be carefully considered before starting a translation.
Companies also need to pay particular attention to brand names. Is the English version appropriate in a given cultural context? Are there any potentially offensive connotations?
Whatever industry your brand belong to, in Marketing you will need to use creative translators, editors and copywriters. Do not hesitate to contact us not only for translation and transcreation services, but also for cultural feedback and market insight to ensure your copy successfully speaks to your target audience.