Traps for the Unwary About Marketing Translation

Last Updated On: June 19, 2017

inTranslation Tips

No Image

Marketing translation is a necessary part of a business’s expansion outside its own borders. With online sales growing every year, marketing translation becomes even more of a necessity. The contradiction is that many businesses are compromising their image and brand by not taking marketing translation seriously enough or treating it like any other translation task.

Marketing translation skills are different from other kinds of translation

Marketing translation is not as literal as other translation, especially technical translation. In some ways it is more like literary translation, but even then there are significant differences. Businesses that intend to do a lot of marketing translation should use professional translation agencies that specialise in this type of translation.
The essential difference between marketing translation and other kinds of translation is that the former has to translate idiomatic expressions, slogans, brand messages and must do so taking into account potentially different cultural and social meanings. Marketing translators tend to have a very good in depth knowledge of both the two cultures that belong to the business itself and the target market.
To give an example, take a typical technical translation task: the translation of a manual explaining how to use a medical device. There is no room for cultural differences here. The device will be used in the same way in the country in which the device was developed and built as well as the country or countries where it is being sold.


Good marketing translation is culturally sensitive

Compare that with an advertising message for a new drink. The message in the country of origin may be totally unacceptable in the target country where the drink is being marketed. The message may offend the local community, disturb it, annoy it, or perhaps it may be just misunderstood. Marketing messages and slogans can be very culture specific and these messages don’t always translate very well at all.
That doesn’t mean that a translation can’t be made when there are substantial cultural differences involved. Marketing is all about conveying the message that a product (or service) is worth buying. All it means is that the translator is given the job of converting the message into something that will make the new market sit up and take interest. This is known as transcreation and is a distinctive feature of marketing translation.

Related Posts

Transcreation in marketing translation services

Don’t Neglect Transcreation if You are an Active Marketing Translator

Translation Tips

April 7, 2017

If you’ve never heard of the term “transcreation”, it may be time you have, especially..

View More

Translating your Twitter Posts is a Good Marketing Strategy

Translation Tips

July 28, 2016

Businesses today are as active on social media sites as are individuals and most recently..

View More

Language Learning is not as Difficult as You Think!

Translation Tips

July 6, 2015

Look around the world and you will find people who seem to pick up languages..

View More
Marketing Skills

How Should Translators Market Their Skills?


June 16, 2015

The biggest step towards being a paid translator for any translation services in Australia is..

View More

Leave a Reply