In application style, advertisement may be the one using rhetoric most frequently. Admen not only need to concentrate their efforts on creativity, but also should rack their brain to make the advertisement fresh and attractive.
In advertisement translation, which rhetoric in English can be translated into Chinese? Which can not? Which can be made cross-culture modification? Which is untranslatable?
Simile and metaphor
Simile and metaphor are made up of three components: tenor, vehicle and simile maker. There must have some similarity between tenor and vehicle.
When translation simile and metaphor in advertisement, several points need to be pay special attention to: i) the simile or metaphor you use in translation must be appropriate, that is to say, tenor and vehicle must be different in nature but similar in some certain aspect; 2) vehicle must be more common than tenor; 3) the simile or metaphor you use must be novelty and creativity.
A flawless skin, a porcelain-clear complexion (Marie Claire)
Tough as a Tiger (The Tudor Hydronaut)
There are two kinds of pun: homophonic pun and homographic pun. Please see the following examples:
Live with focus (FordFocus)
The 1999 BMW 7 Series and its closest rival: a side-by-side comparison. (BMW 7 Series)
In advertisement, products are always treated as thoughtful human beings, to make it closer to people and stimulate consumer to buy them.
With genes from jets (SAAB)
Send melanin to sleep (Chanel)
Refreshing Mist for Summer (Gucci)
True passion forgets fear…
triumphs over difficulties. (Rolex)
When using exaggeration in advertisement, you should keep your eyes on the expenditure benefits. If it is over exaggerated, consumer may consider it as misleading or cheating. Also, translators should consider cultural acceptance in translation. For example:
You’er at 35,000 feet. Your head is in New York. Your heart in in Paris. Your Rolex can be in both places at once. (Rolex)
身在 35,000 英尺的纽约上空，巴黎的浪漫仍系心中…唯你的劳力士可两地相容。
Here, the source English exaggerates:你头在纽约，心在巴黎. If one translates it literally, it may seems very abrupt. So, we translate it freely as:身在纽约，心在巴黎. Then, paraphrase it into: 巴黎的浪漫仍系心中.
Always listening. Always understanding. (Prudential)
Investment and Banking
Anytime Anywhere (Hang Seng Bank)
Be Safe Be Right. Turn on the Lights. (Hong Kong Government)
Marching shoulder to shoulder
Braving the challenges together (Inland Revenue Department, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)
New Perspective (Fortress)
Maybe she’s born with it
Maybe it’s Maybelline (Maybelline)
Best Trade Finance Bank
Best Bank for Payments and Collections
Best Securitization House
At HSBC, we strive to do the best. (HSBC)