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Translation for Advertising

The goal of any business today is to have a presence in both the national and international markets. But to do this, it is essential to have a good marketing strategy and, of course, proper translation and localization of both the text and the image used for advertising your product. Companies generally pose what to do, whether to opt for what is called “internationalization”, i.e. creating an advertisement that catches the attention of potential consumers of different cultural backgrounds while remaining neutral, without making references to a particular culture, or to locate the message to the target culture so that the consumer may perceive a natural way what is being conveyed.

From my point of view, I think what gives the most results is to translate and localize your marketing message, avoiding errors of interpretation or missing the message you want to put across.

Many times I am shocked how large companies that have important roles in the international market make mistakes in translation or localization in their advertising.

For example, Suzuki introduced a car called the “Pajero” the Spanish market. In Spain, this word has a clear negative connotation and, when they realized that this would not sell anything, they changed it to “Montero”; there is also the example of Nissan with its “Pixo” — in Castilian Spanish, it is a meaningless term but in Catalan it is the first person present of the verb “pixar” (urinate) and in Galician it is even a more vulgar term for a part of a man’s body. In this particular case it appears that the company has decided not to change the name, but I don’t think many Galicians are eager to park their “Pixo” or that their car means “I pee.”

The greater point in these examples is that the translation, adaptation and localization of advertising texts is an essential task in introducing the product correctly in the intended market.

Large international companies try to globalize their slogans, brands and products so that they are the same around the world, but in most cases it is necessary to take into account the language, customs and possible connotations that a particular message may have.

Therefore, there is no doubt that the better idea would be to use qualified professionals trained in advertising translation who are fully familiar with the target country and culture for the company to ensure that the message you intend to communicate is the same as the one received.

(Spanish version: