Functions of Pun in Advertising Translation I
From the advertisers’ point of view, simplicity is very important because the advertising space of various types is very expensive. Using the pun is very economical as the two meanings can melt into a word or phrase. In fact, the pun is a very labor-saving means using by advertisers to sell products. For consumers, their acceptance ability is limited when facing overwhelming advertising (Brooks, Cleanth and Robert Penn Warren. 1979). Advertising with pun possesses a feature of clear and concise language which not only plays an economical and efficient social function, but also reaches the social effects of attracting customers, contributing to achieving the ultimate goal of advertising.
Example : “省”遍全国(神州行)
Example : 一卷而净(唯洁雅厨房用纸)
Both of the two slogans adopt four word phrases to convey the characteristics of the product, showing the true nature of the advertising language to the largest extent. The former not only talks about the wide range of uses of ShenZhouXing but also highlights a major advantage of saving the phone bill; “卷”in the latter serves as a verb, embodies the convenience of kitchen paper, “卷”can also serve as a quantifier which highlights its role of essential kitchen helper.
Humor and Attractiveness
Pun in the advertisements can increase the appeal and interest of the advertising and give consumers great impact of novelty because of its humorous language style. Advertising makes good use of pun, to attract consumers to pay attention and let consumers can’t help asking: What does it mean? For example:
Example : 赶时间,谁不想有双翅膀? (麦当劳麦辣鸡翅) 。
This slogan articulates the aspirations of the modern urban office workers who would like to have wings and make the fullest use of time. The McDonald’s fast food itself is the spokesman for fast food. It is cheap, fast, convenient and close to the people. The promotion of the products of spicy chicken wings implied the meaning of “wings”, therefore, the AD will make consumers smile from their hearts.
Example : 康乐为我出气(康乐抽油烟机) 。
If this AD is expressed as: 康乐牌抽油烟机消除厨房油烟, the translation is accurate, but there is no appeal. While using the characters“出气” constitutes the pun, on the one hand ,it highlights the function of the product, on the other hand it reflects that the trouble caused by the fumes to people will be wiped out. The humor in the advertisement results in a strong advertising effect.
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