Translation in Advertising Essay
Translation in Advertising
Modern mass media have triggered the distribution of the international advertizing activity. Nowadays, the translation of advertising has become not only necessary but also the daily phenomenon of life of the world community. Thus, the knowledge of theoretical bases of the process is not only an indispensable condition, but also the quality assurance of the translation. Like other production of the mass media – newspapers, magazines, TV programs, broadcasts, advertising is materialized in the form of the ready media text.
And the concept “text” with the reference to the sphere of the mass information is used not only for a designation of an actual text verbal number, but also gets lines of dimensions and multidimensionality including such important for media production components as a visual number in its graphic or television embodiment, and also an audio number in the form of a product.
Therefore, the concept “the advertising text” concerns not only a verbal number, but also includes a set of all linguistic significant components, somehow: schedules, images, sound, etc. where the concrete set depends on a mass-media-carrier. Such interpretation of a concept ‘the advertising text’ finds the reflection in works of many English-speaking researchers, in particular, in Angela Goddar’s The Language Book of Advertising which writes: “The word ‘text’ here (as applied to advertising) is used in its widest sense, including visual artifacts as well as verbal language”.
While translating advertising texts it is necessary to consider the purpose of the advertising message, the character of the consumer, the language qualities of the text of the original, the cultural and individual possibilities of the language in the cultural aspect of the consumer and many other things.
Translation of texts in advertising can be defined as close to “adequate”. Such type of translation is caused by its practical necessity. The given approach demands good knowledge of the translator of the subject discussed in the original, the translator should understand what the author of the advertising text, i.e. communicative intention of the advertising text, wanted to say. Translation of the advertising text at change of the verbal form should be, at the same time, precisely transferred in meaning.
While translating English-speaking advertising texts, in some cases Russian translators don’t translate the text and give its “semantic equivalent”. For example: “What legs! Much more than legs! OMSA knows how to be admired! ” (From Paris to the Find “Omsa” – the best stockings! ); “Betcha can’t eat just one” (Zahrustish – you will not resist! ).
The choice of this or that way or translating depends on a lot factors. It can be both the character of the text being translated, and the audience of the consumer of advertising production, psychological features of the translator, and his /her adherence of a certain literary tradition. For many experts in advertising activity the foreign language text serves only as a means for understanding the idea of an advertised product, the text is often written from scratch in the language of the country of the consumer, taking into account its national specificity.
When the exact translation of the text represented is for any reasons undesirable, the translator uses the phrases that are approximate in meaning; the phrases should necessarily consider traditional ethnic, national and social features, stereotypes of behavior of a concrete audience at whom the product in the advertising text is directed. If the audience on whom the text of an advertised product is focused is various, translators use exclusively common lexicon that is clear to each native speaker and has wide application in a daily dialogue.
If the target audience is homogeneous, translators don’t use in the advertizing text the words that have certain restrictions in the use. They carefully select the words included in the advertising text with the reference to their stylistic conformity, to the chosen theme, the product and the audience. In the case when the advertising campaign is focused on the narrow homogeneous audience having its own social or professional metalanguage, the use of slangy words and words of professionalism is not forbidden to the translator, but, moreover, it is welcomed.
The reference to literary, cultural and historical traditions is “the powerful weapon” for the founders of advertising. At the same time similar phenomena represent certain difficulties at interpretation and perception of the text. The use of citations, hints, deformed idioms, and also the words of another language assumes the presence of the general background knowledge of the founder of the text and its addressee.
A similar phenomena gets special importance in advertising of the goods displayed in the international market as in this case there is required some adaptation of advertising messages to the audience they are addressed; with the reference to peculiarities of the language picture of the world. Advertising texts should be characterized by clarity, brightness, laconicism, extravagance, highly professional execution, as its main objective – to draw attention, to raise interest and to stimulate sale. To achieve this purpose the composers of the advertizing text appeal to the use of various linguistic and psychological devices.
Therefore, in advertising messages on the “the limited space” it is possible to observe the highest concentration of various stylistic devices. “Having the purpose of intensive concentrated influence, advertising uses a rich spectrum of expressive means at all language levels”.  Allegory, a metaphor, comparison, parallelism, various kinds of repetitions, alliteration, an onomatopoeia, concentration of imperative forms of a verb and connotive adjectives – all these are widely represented in advertising texts. So, for example, D.
Dajer characterizes features of language of advertizing as follows: “Advertising language is of course loaded language. Its primary aim is to attract our attention and dispose us favorably towards the product or service on offer. Advertisers use language quite distinctively: there are certainly advantages in making bizarre and controversial statements in unusual ways as well as communicating with people using simple, straightforward language …
Catching our attention and imagination and aiding memory are perhaps the primary functions of advertising languages: usual or stylish words and short, crisp sentences are easy to repeat and remember.
And our memories are also served by brand names, slogans and catch-phrases, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, snatches of song and verse and of course endless repetition”. [3, p. 140] As one of the major components of the advertising text is the description of advertised goods or services, attributive combinations that include adverbs and adjectives bear the big functional loading. Some researchers even name the adverbs and adjectives the keywords of the advertising text and pay to them special attention.
“If you listen to any commercial or glance at advertisements in magazines, you will be subjected to a liberal sprinkling of adverbs and adjectives. There are key parts of speech for advertisers. They are the trigger words because they can stimulate envy, dreams and desires by evoking looks, touch, taste, smell without actually misrepresenting a product”. Adjectives and adverbs help to create that unique tonality of an advertising appeal which allows to transfer qualities and advantages of an advertised subject.
While translating into other language this circumstance should be necessarily considered: “Radiant, sensual, sophisticated, J’adore is a fragrance that celebrates the renaissance of extreme femininity and the power of spontaneous emotion with a brilliant bouquet of orchids, the velvet touch of Damascus plum and the mellowness of Amarante wood” (Shining, sensual, difficult, J’adore – aroma which celebrates the Renaissance of extreme feminity and the power of direct emotion with a brilliant bouquet of orchids, velvet contact of Damask plum, and ripeness of wood of an amaranth).
[3, p. 149] In translation process of advertising texts adjectives and adverbs are used for the description of the most various properties of an advertised product – forms, the size, the quality, the cost, sensations which the given product causes. The adjectives that are most used in English-speaking advertising concern: natural, sensual, innocent, passionate, romantic, mysterious, good, better, best, free, fresh, delicious, full sure, clean, wonderful, special, fine, big, great, real, easy, bright, extra, rich, gold.
Often there are the adjectives specifying the authenticity of a trade mark – genuine, authentic and original. But, perhaps, the champion of frequency in English-speaking advertising there is an adjective ‘new’ – he can be met practically in every second advertising text. On syntactical level it is possible to name such most significant signs of the advertising text as the frequent use of imperative forms of a verb that considerably strengthens dynamism of an advertising appeal (see, buy, fly).
“They fell in love with her when she started wearing that Sexplosion perfume. That perfume really attracts boys! Buy some! ” Very often in advertising texts there is a metaphor, while translating it the translator needs to show a great creative potential: “Plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is! ” (Advertizing Alka-Seltzer: “Fun without a hang-over! ”); “The quicker picker-upper” (advertizing of chocolate Bounty: “Bounty. Paradise pleasure”). Or on the contrary, while translating a usual advertising slogan into Russian the translator uses a metaphor:
“Mr.Clean will clean your whole house and everything that’s in it” (“Mr. Proper all has washed also apartment has freshened”; “With Mr. Proper is more cheerful, houses purely twice faster! ”); “If it’s gotta be clean, it’s gotta be Tide” (“Cleanliness – Tajd is pure! ”). References: 1. Добросклонская, Т. Г. Вопросы изучения медиа текстов. – М. : МАКС Пресс. 2000. 2. Чаган, Н. Г. Реклама в социокультурном пространстве: традиция и современность // Маркетинг в России и за рубежом. 2000. № 2. 3. Dyer, G. Advertising as Communication. – London. 1995.