Translation is not simply a matter of seeking other words with similar meaning, but of finding appropriate ways of saying things in another language. Translating is always meaning-based, i.e. it is the transfer of meaning instead of form from the source language to the target language.

One of the most important functions of advertisements is the vocative function, that is to say, to persuade the audiences to buy the goods or services in the in the advertisement.

A successful advertisement translation means that the target language has the same functions as original language does. So, the translation doesn’t have to be exactly the same, and above all, the translation must be flexible depend on the social and cultural background of the target language.


When translating brands, the social and cultural factors must be taken into accounts.

Coca Cola 可口可乐

Sheriton 喜来登

Simple Sentences

The English advertising writings are literary, but in another way, it must be simple and easy to remember. Therefore, the transition of such sentences must follow the same style, with concise and fluent words.

Good to the last drop. 滴滴香浓,意犹未尽。(Maxwell)

Intelligence everywhere. 智慧演绎,无处不在。(Motorola)

Interrogative & Imperative Sentences

Interrogative and imperative sentences can be seen here and there in advertisement, to stimulate audiences to buy. So the translation need to obey the same rules.

Obey your thirst. 服从你的渴望。(Sprite)

Just do it. 只管去做。(Nike)

Feel the new space. 感受新境界。(Sumsung)


In order to make an advertisement impressive enough to attract the custermers, the copywriters often use parallel structure. These sentences are structural symmetry and neatly proportioned, and are suitable for re-emphasized and striking contrast in sound, form and meaning. When translating, we’d better use the same pattern, to make it catchy.

We lead Others copy. 我们领先,他人仿效。(RICOH COPIER)

No business too small, no problem too big. 没有不做的小生意,没有解决不了的大问题。(IBM)

Take TOSHIBA, take the world. 拥有东芝,拥有世界。(Toshiba)

All of these elements could play a decisive role not only in the good understanding of the advertising message but also, and especially, in its success on the targeted market. In any case, mastering these signs is a “technical know-how” that a translator/localizer ought to highlight and benefit from in a materialistic world where everything is negotiable. And it is up to the translator to use his/her cleverness to bargain for a better future.

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