The Challenge of Translating Company Slogans

Date
May
2
20140502

Translating slogans is difficult and painstaking but critical. Getting it right requires close collaboration between the translation company, the client, and their advertising agency. This way the translation is more effective, the work is done more quickly and the cost will be lower. But even so, it won’t be easy.The difficulty goes like this. The advertising agency working together with the client has probably spent weeks, perhaps months, coming up with a suitable slogan.Their task is to describe everything about a product or a company, its soul, its spirit, in just a few words – and to do this in a way that entices people to purchase. No easy task, even for the original home market. But try achieving that same result in other markets where the language and culture are vastly different.A straightforward translation of the clever catchphrase that works so well back home may be meaningless or even off-putting to people living for example, in China or Japan. So it becomes very much a “starting from scratch” exercise for a translation company to find those few magic words which will attract the same result as the original, in totally different market environments. Perhaps it may even be easier to translate an entire user manual about the product than to find those few perfect words which will play such a major part in its commercial success.