The Challenge of Marketing Translations

The translator’s responsibility when working with marketing texts is quite significant. These texts, if they do not recreate the sense and style of the original, lose their essence. Marketing translations may generate large increases in a company’s revenue or may be the cause of crippling losses.

The translation of marketing texts, whether a brochure of simple advertising text or a full marketing campaign, requires skills that are completely different to those needed to translate technical texts. The translation of this type of text must not be started until everyone involved in the process is profoundly familiar with the product or service offered and has good market knowledge. But above all, it requires a lot of common sense to know when a sentence needs to be “recreated” rather than “translated”, according to cultural equivalents regarding word play, comments on colors and even jokes in some cases . The duty of the translator will then be to add an attractive element to the actual content of the message so that the product/service can be marketed successfully in the target market(s) of the translation.

Communicating a message in a concise and clever manner, is nearly always extremely difficult. The task of the translators is to get inside the minds of those who have written the text, those who read it and also those of the listeners. Therefore, in addressing the project, the translator should, first of all, decide whether the message should have the same tone as the original or if it should be different in order to be more appropriate for the target market, in order to obtain the desired effect in the target text. A mistranslated slogan may result in negative publicity or being meaningless in the target language.

For these reasons, marketing and advertising are fields in which the translation usually needs to incorporate customer feedback before conducting the final review, although this procedure is not exclusive only to those areas. At this stage the client can, in turn, conduct market research with consumers in the target market to find reactions to a proposed translated slogan, for example. At Trusted Translations, and we know how important the different connotations of each word or phrase are in the source and target language and the target market, so our deliveries have guaranteed fidelity in the transmission of the message, with the same impact as the original.

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