When a translator deals with the advertising slogan, it requires a wide range of knowledge of the source language and target language; he/she also needs to have profound understandings in a product itself and the implied meaning in the advertising slogan.
To get the ideas where the expressions originated from is very important. For example, in some advertisements, writers would invent advertising slogan on the basis of some stories or proverbs from the Bible.
Today, I’d like to talk about some techniques applied in translating advertising slogans.
Vague discourse plays an important role in modern advertisement. For example,the slogan “First class is Michelob”, and we need to know that “Michelob” a brand of beer in USA, and is not the most expensive beer in USA, but it is the first beer brand that has won a position in American’s minds in the history. So the appropriate translation would be “米什劳啤酒堪称一流.”or “一等啤酒是米克劳。”.
Here is another example:
Nestles company claims in their advertisement of a drink called “Hot nestles cocoa” that “Hot Nestles cocoa is the very best.”It needs to be paid special attention to treat the word “Best”. It seems that the word “最好的”almost never be showed in the Chinese advertisement slogans.If you translate the slogan “Hot Nestles cocoa is the very best.” directly into“雀巢可可热饮是最好的”, it would lead to a big trouble, since it not the meaning Nestle intended to convey and it also against the law of advertising in China. Imagine any other companies also claim that their products are the best, what a mess it could be! Meanwhile, it is a degradation of the products of their competitors and could not be accepted by Chinese consumers.
The word “best” here doesn’t really mean best. It’s only a kind of expression closely to “very good” or “taste wonderful”. So it could be translated like “雀巢热可可，味道好极了”.