Translation of Advertizement and Commercials
In order to obtain a high-quality translation of advertizement and commercials it is necessary to understand the principle of organization of commercials texts, slogans, catalogs, etc. The advertizing copy can be attributed to instructive texts. Thus the main objective of the advertizing text is to provoke reaction or to force the person to make any action through persuasion or offer to try something. When translating advertizing copies a translator should consider a range of linguistic and culturological features: syntactic, semantic, and intercontextual.
Basic essentials which should be considered when carrying out translation of advertizing copies and commercials: simplicity of structure, short sentences, conventionality of style, and vagueness of images. Superficial character of advertizing copies can put any translator on the spot. In order to receive a high-quality translation it is necessary to remember: any advertizing copy is aimed at striking the reader (listener) at the expense of queerness of language chunks. When translating first of all it is necessary to be focused on the message instead of a message form. After all the advertizing industry is involved in infinite fight on drawing attention of customers when all need to be struck, thus all written and unwritten rules on structuring the text can be nullified, or can be taken into account on the contrary.
First of all the translator working on the advertizing copy should pay attention to language of message. Although abundance of advertizing messages contain very little or are practically deprived of verbal information, relying on the visual message of accompanying images with intellectual associations which arise in mind when viewing image. When translating advertizing copies it is necessary to consider cultural aspects, and from time to time for the reason given the translator should render the nonverbal message by verbal means, and it is always necessary to keep in mind culturological nuances of the country in which the translated advertizing copy will be used.
Sometimes the negligent attitude to translation of the short advertizing expression or simply the name of goods resulted in failure at development of the new market. For example, in the Arabic speaking countries it will be certainly necessary to change an order of pictures since Arabs read from right to left. But the logo itself should be analyzed attentively. For example, in June, 1997 the Nike company was compelled to withdraw more than 38 thousand couples of sneakers from sale. The styled inscription strongly resembled a name of god in Arabic – "Allah". Colgate company also found itself in an awkward situation during product promotion in the markets of South America: on Spanish "Colgate" means "to hang oneself".
Drink producers caught it bad either. At the beginning of work in the market of China the name Coca-Cola was read as "Kekoukela" which can be rendered as "Bite a wax tadpole" or "A mare filled with wax" – variants of translation that depend upon a dialect. After that the company investigated about 40.000 to find the necessary phonetic equivalent – "kokoukole". The new word is translated as "Happiness in a mouth". Similar translation is worthy respect. Everybody remembers the slogan of Pepsi about generation, in China it was translated as "Pepsi will pull out your relatives from a grave". And the harmless phrase of Schweppes producer "Schweppes Tonic" was translated into Italian as "Water from Schweppes toilet bowl".
Producers of cars also "became famous" for the translational goofs. For instance, General Motors completely went down in flames trying to merchandize the car under the title Nova in the market of Central and South America. In Spanish "No va" means "does not go". The Ford Motor company introduced into the market minicar Pinto in 1971. The company could not understand why it could not increase sales in Brazil while they did not find out that this slang word was used to name man's genitals. And in Belgium the slogan "Every car has a high quality body" was translated as "In each car there is a high-quality corpse".
Although the abovementioned examples are the long-standing issues and now none self-respecting marketing specialist will initiate the international company without consultation with the philologist, and also without consultation with an expert in culture questions. At a choice of translator for translation of advertizing copies it is necessary to select the translator with due care. To obtain a high-quality translation of advertizing copies and commercials it is necessary to transfer not the words with target language means, but rather a mood or spirit created by the original. Words should never be translated in advertizing, rather emotions. Despite globalization, cultural values in each particular country remain stable and only the translator can render significant assistance in development of this or that advertizing slogan or the company since the translator possesses detailed and profound knowledge of culture and changes in culturological perception during the work with the language combinations.