Advertising in Foreign Languages – A Tricky Balancing Act

Anyone who tries to tell you there’s no such thing as bad publicity clearly has never had to deal with the fallout of a poorly-translated advertising text.  In the best instances, substandard translations yield marketing materials that are nonsensical. 

In the worst instances, brands and businesses offend their intended target audiences, or make complete and utter jokes of themselves.  Suffice to say, both represent the exact mirror opposites of the initial intent.

Advertising in Foreign Languages – A Tricky Balancing Act

The evolution of the global market has inspired more businesses at all levels than ever before to branch out overseas.  Something as simple as a Bulgarian translation package or Polish website translation service can be all it takes to immediately reach out to vast and lucrative new audiences.  Nevertheless, advertising texts in particular represent very specific and complex challenges for the professional translator.

In order to hit home with any given target market, it isn’t quite as simple as having a good grasp of the local language.  Powerful advertising involves clever use of local dialect, colloquialisms, cultural references, hidden subtleties and a critically-important illustration of real social awareness.  Suffice to say, all of the above cannot be achieved simply by directly ‘converting’ an advertising text from one language to another.

You need only check out the websites exclusively dedicated to hilarious and unfortunate translation misfires to understand why.

The simple fact of the matter is that it takes long-term dedication and passion to become familiar with the homographs, homonyms, synonyms and general nuances of a foreign language.  It’s one thing to translate a document in a manner that simply gets the message across – it’s something else entirely to retain the document’s persuasiveness, professionalism and influence.

Advertising text translations have the potential to be spectacularly powerful at both ends of the spectrum – hence the critical importance of working with an experienced, capable and committed service provider.

For more information on international marketing text translation services, give the Semiotic Transfer team a call today.

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