Three Unexpected Marketing Translation Techniques

By Chiara Grassilli
In Translation Techniques
May 11th, 2015

Three Unexpected Marketing Translation Techniques


When it comes to marketing translation, things can get complicated mainly because we need to take into account the cultural factor. More specifically, the marketing content must be adapted to the way of thinking of the target country. Sometimes, even religious factors must be considered, so the translator must have a good understanding of cultural issues, not only linguistics. By analysing more specific situations, we will offer you three unexpected marketing translation techniques that might help you.

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Delete some words

Due to cultural differences, some words might seem inappropriate, so you must delete them in order to avoid certain issues or misunderstandings. While some countries allow even more vulgar words in advertising, some may not accept this, which means that the translation must be adapted in order to suit that country’s requests. Obviously, the meaning of the phrase or slogan will significantly change, but the translator must play with the words and obtain a positive effect in the end. This is why we always say that a translator must be a good writer as well.


Invent some words

Inventing some words could also be necessary when translating marketing related material. For instance, there can be invented words in a certain language, thus you must invent them in the target language as well. Let’s imagine we are creating a marketing campaign related to the Harry Potter movies or books. The amount of invented words is huge in this case. Just think what a great imagination the translator must have in this case. The text should sound natural and funny at the same time, which can be really difficult.


Reformulate the structure completely

Sometimes a complete reformulation of the text is required in marketing. A possible reason is that some phrases just don’t sound right when translated. Their effect fades, so the translator must change the structure in a way that keeps the message intact, but it sounds more natural in the target language.
Another reason for doing this is that some phrases contain idioms that obviously make no sense in the other language. They must be replaced with similar structures in order to convey the same message to the reader.
Furthermore, the cultural issue is important in this case as well. Any offensive content must be changed completely. Nevertheless, the phrase must have a similar impact on the reader, so the translator must rethink it completely. In this case, the structure will have almost nothing in common with the initial one, but it will avoid unpleasant situations.

To conclude, there are some unexpected marketing translation techniques that might come in handy. A translator must adapt to all sorts of situations and he must pay attention to all types of details related to the target country’s culture. Deleting and inventing words or changing the structure of the phrase are only some of the techniques that translators always use in these situations. A good imagination is always required in this job.

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About "" Has 117 Posts

Since an early age I have been passionate about languages. I hold a Master's degree in Translation and Interpreting, and I have worked as a freelance translator for several years. I specialize in Marketing, Digital Marketing, Web and Social Media. I love blogging and I also run the blog

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