Don’t Let Humorous Marketing Get Lost in Translation
by Chad Richardson
June 30, 2020
Everyone can think of a commercial or advertisement that has made them laugh or smile. Humor, especially shared humor can make us feel like we’re enjoying something together, and that warm feeling can carry over into good thoughts about the associated products. But what happens when the joke gets lost in translation? At best, it can result in confusion and a missed opportunity, at worst, negative associations and even distrust or disliking a product or company. Professional translation services can help you avoid such pitfalls.
Difficulties of Translating Marketing Humor
In so many cases, what’s funny changes from culture to culture, so advertising that relies on that cultural knowledge will usually fall flat in translation. Even more difficult to deal with is humor that relies on wordplay, since the words must obviously change between languages. Using a computer translator won’t help, because it will almost always provide a literal translation, utterly lacking in the humor of the original. This is especially true for wordplay like puns where the play on words is what makes it fun and memorable. Adding in cultural sensitivity and an awareness of what’s generally considered funny is necessary to translate humor successfully.
How Professional Translation Can Help
Professional translators can examine the end result of the advertisement and work backwards to create an appropriate equivalent rather than attempting an exact translation. They pay attention to the nuances and subtleties of the languages so the meaning and intent of the message is carried through. Translation for marketing, among other areas, is more than just getting the words right. Marketing copy needs to carry the feel of the original and evoke the same response in multiple languages and across cultures.
If you’re looking for assistance in translating your marketing materials, we can help. Contact us today to see how we can work together.
Smart, Fun, and Fascinating Facts About the Use of Sign Language
Also known as ASL (or American Sign Language), this method of communicating with those who are either completely deaf or struggle with their hearing has been around for over two centuries. On the surface, watching those who silently speak, understand, and communicate with others using their hands may appear foreign to most, but it’s actually…
3 Traits for Healthier Meetings and Happier Employees
Have you ever sat in a meeting where you were suddenly jolted out of your daydream when someone asked for your opinion? Maybe you remember that meeting that seemed to drag on with no end in sight. Maybe you don’t remember the meeting at all. Did you ever leave a meeting wondering if you had…
Taking a Break to Manage Unsustainable Accelerated Growth
While growth is the ultimate reason people get into business, sometimes growing or expanding too quickly could lead to some unexpected complications. The challenge for any business owner is not to limit growth but to manage growth and capitalize on it if possible. The effects of unsustainable accelerated growth on your business could include: Having…
We’d love to learn more about your translation and localization needs.