I will be happy to help you make your marketing campaign a success. I can translate your advertising copy, flyers or brochures from English or French into German. Simply contact me without obligation.
For a company to sell its product or service successfully, it must advertise. A successful advertising text attracts the attention of potential buyers and makes the product palatable to them. If the company operates internationally, i.e. in several language areas, the advertising message should also achieve its effect in the foreign language.
This is exactly what distinguishes a good translation. It is not just a "word-for-word" translation. The task of a good translator is to transfer the meaning and style of the source text into the target language. In doing so, cultural factors must be taken into account, which only a native speaker from the target country is able to do.
This type of translation is called localisation. As already mentioned, it is not just one language that is translated, but one culture into another. An example of localisation would be the transfer of a proverb from the source language to the target language. Let's take the English expression "beating around the bush" as an example.
Only there is no such expression in German. A literal translation would make no sense either. German speakers might understand what it means, but the expression would still seem odd to them. In order to translate this correctly so that readers in the target country understand it properly, we have to use an expression that is common there.
In our case, for example, this would be "um den heissen Brei reden". Thus, the message of the original text is transferred mutatis mutandis.
Translating sounds more difficult for you than you thought? It gets a little more complex. Because the difficulty is not only in translating proverbs. For example, translating humour into the target language brings its own set of challenges.
Humour is a good example of the cultural factors mentioned above that need to be taken into account. After all, humour is not only tied to a language but, more importantly, to a culture. You can perhaps imagine that although the same language is spoken in the UK, USA, Canada, Southafrica Australia and New Zealand, humour differs regionally. It is the same with humour in German. Since this language is spoken in several countries, this fact must be taken into account.
So what does this mean for a translation? Well, what people find funny in one country does not necessarily mean that it applies to all countries. For example, people in Japan are not used to sarcasm and irony. A company that wants to advertise there had better take this fact to heart.
The same applies to the language pairs English-German and French-German. As already mentioned, it is always important from which country the source text originates. A good example of the perfect connection between language and culture are puns. Because these usually have something to do with the language and the culture of the country.
For a good example of a word joke, take a Family Guy episode in which bear arms are seen hanging on a wall. The people standing around discuss the phrase "Everybody has the right to bear arms". Have you figured out what the joke is yet? If not, no problem, I'll explain it to you.
For that, let's first take a look at the literal meaning of the phrase "Everybody has the right to bear arms". This makes sense so far, after all, there are indeed bear arms hanging on the wall. But now let's take a look at the second, cultural meaning of the sentence. Because on the one hand "bear arms" can refer to an animal's body parts , but on the other hand it can also mean "owning weapons".
Anyone who knows a little about the American Constitution knows that this sentence describes the "Second Amendment", which is much discussed among Americans. The Family Guy episode parodied this by the play on words.
How was the word joke translated into German so that its humour does not get not completely lost? In the German version, it was literally translated as follows: "Everyone has the right to monkey arms". Since the bear arms on the wall also look like monkey arms, this allowed the translators to place a similarly good joke here.
Why is this funny? Because "monkey arms" in German means "Affenarme". If you put a "W" in front of it, it reads "Waffenarme", which means "weapon arms" with "arms" describing the body parts. Thus, the translators partially preserved the joke in the original.
However, the full word joke is only revealed to the reader in the original language. You can see, however, that the translation of a seemingly simple advertising text may not be so simple at all. If the source text is full of humour, proverbs and puns, it takes a lot of work to make the target text similarly humorous. Since my sense of humour is roughly the same in all three languages, English, French and German, you can trust me to treat your order with the humour it deserves.