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Translating and Localizing Ads

February 12th, 2013

Translating ads pose a special challenge since it is essential to provide an accurate grammatical interpretation of the ads. Since many ads depend on puns and other figures of speech to engage the target audience and make an impact, it is necessary that ads have to be translated with care and localized to ensure that they reflect the brand image of the product and respect local culture sensitivity. The translator should also be aware of local rules and regulations regarding ads.

Key Differences

Specific cultural items that require attention when translating ads include historical references as well as customs, habits, and objects that have a different meaning in the target culture. Emotive ads that use universal feelings such as winning and losing are easier to translate than some others. For instance, various cultures use different symbols to signify death and the rituals associated with it. While in the West it is customary to give flowers for the grave when visiting the bereaved family, in South Africa, it is customary to give money to the family of the deceased. In such cases, the role of the translator has to be modified to encompass that of a rewriter. While the translator has to convey the ideas of the advertiser, it has to be done in a modified manner.

Necessary Tasks

For this the translator needs to use more than language skills. It is vital that the translator is aware of the meaning of the various signs and symbols used by both the communities in order to render a viable and meaningful translation of the advertisement. The translator has to be able to understand the relationship between the text and the context of the ad and translate both in the target language.

Knowing the Culture

In order to successfully translate and localize an ad, the translator has to be immersed in the culture of the target language while having a firm grasp of the culture of the translated language as well.

At CommGap, we are marketing translation wizards. We know how to handle the small and large details to make translations work. Localization is key. If you need something trans-created, please call us! We would love to talk to you.

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