On Trademark Translation
As the global economic integration quickening its process, trademarks become the main competitive means between countries. A trademark is a legally registered brand used to distinguish from the marks of other producer’s or operator’s products or labor service, which is consisted of characters, graphs, symbols or their combination. Trademark translation plays an important part in the sale abroad. Just as Albert Ellis puts it:” a good or bad trademark translation can result in sales performance difference of millions.” So how can we translate a trademark in the manner both respects the culture of target language and not loses the brand culture of source language, which builds good commodity image in the marketing and promoting activities, thus achieve an overbalance effect finally? This text begins from the factors that should be considered in the translation of trademarks, and then analyze and discuss about the main means to translate trademarks, in turn guiding consumption and promoting consumption.
Main factors affecting trademark translation
1. Basic factor — substantive characteristic of trademark
There are five types of functions for language symbols（G•Leech，1974）, which are information function, expressing function, guiding function and socializing function. Trademarks also have these five functions, though just one or two functions play leading part in actual conditions. Trademarks are slogan containing the purport and interest of the denominator, with its primary purpose lying: catch attention, arouse interest, stimulate desire and take action. First of all, a successful trademark should conform to the nature of the product. For example, we translate Reebok into “锐步”, which can reflect the nature of sneakers than its original translation of “雷宝”. Secondly, a successful trademark should also pay attention to good implication filled with symbolic meaning, broadening people’s minds. For example, we translate NIKE into “耐克”, which not only reflects the feature of wear resisting of the products, but also contains the implication of defeating the enemy when you wear Nike shoes and achieve immediate success. Finally, the words used in translation should be short and sweet, vivid, readable and easy to remember. For example, the translation of Coca-cola is “可口可乐”, which makes use of the feature of “alliteration” in Chinese, transliterating the first two syllables as “可口”, and the later two as “可乐”, with lively rhythm and musical sensibility, it makes you feel that you are really tasting some kind of drink, which brings you with endless happiness. Come into another culture through translation should have all these features, which makes brands bigger.