Translation of Cosmetic Advertisements

The function of communication intercourse, purchase of cosmetic advertisements as well as customers’ mentality decide its three basic requirements, (1) truth, (2) persuasiveness (3) artistry. Based on these three basic requirements, the cosmetic advertisements have formed a series of characteristics from wording, grammar to rhetoric.

Here are a few methods to translate cosmetic advertisements from Chinese to English.

First, using compound words to translate the verb + object structure in Chinese.

The Chinese cosmetic advertisements often select bisyllable verb + object structure to express the performance and characteristics of the products which can be expressed by compounds in English, such as wrinkles-resisting/protecting, hair-protecting, hair-coloring, hair-improving, gentle-hair, smooth-skin, soft-skin, gentle-looks and etc.

These kind of compounds adopts the simplest way to emphasize the performance of cosmetics and make customers see clearly and impressive, thus highlighting the truth and beauty of the cosmetics

Second, Combine with the ways of transliteration and paraphrase with meliorative words. These words include wonderful, special, satisfying, amazing, unbelievable, fresh, exciting, and soft and etc.

Transliteration: 潘婷:Pantene

Transliteration + common translation + Special translation:

海飞丝:Head & shouders

The common translation of English cosmetics include: face powder, perfume, face cream, shampoo, hair Vaseline, lipstick cold cream, hair oil

Third, using ways of rhetoric

In cosmetic advertisements, the producer use a lot of rhyme speech and vivid words to create impressive effect through figure of speech, including:

  1. Analogy
  2. Metonymy
  3. Parallelism
  4. Assimilate
  5. Rhyme
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