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[商标词翻译中的文化禁忌及应对策略英语论文]

时间:2019-12-02 10:05:58 来源:东星资源网

商标词翻译中的文化禁忌及应对策略英语论文

On Culture Taboos in Translation of Trademark Words and Coping Strategies

Xu Huimin

Abstracts: With the advent of economic globalization, more and more commodities are going out of the country and have a share in world market. Trademark is a special language symbol and important component of commodity culture,representing the unique characteristics of the commodity. It is also a powerful weapon for enterprisers to participate in international competition. Good trademark translation can bring tremendous wealth to the enterprise while the adverse trademark translation can make the enterprise pay a heavy price; therefore the survival of the enterprise has an intimate relationship with trademark translation. Trademark translation should follow the principles of translation and pay attention to the cultural forbidden zone in trademark translation. Here are many ways to translate trademarks, such as pinyin, transliteration and so on, which should pay attention to the cultural taboos of different countries and nationalities in order to avoid unnecessary troubles. 

1.    Introduction

The emergence of trademarks as a symbol of enterprise, it is a bridge between producers and consumers in direct dialogue it is a powerful weapon for enterprises to participate in international competition. The deepening of China's opening-up and the increasing economic activity of foreign-funded enterprises in China has greatly enriched the economic life of the Chinese people and created many new economic and commercial activities for the Chinese people. A large number of domestic exports to all parts of the world, foreign goods also flooded into the domestic market. Legitimate goods have their own trademarks. Today, with economic globalization and regional economic integration, more and more Chinese enterprises in order to seek larger development space and seek higher economic effectiveness for go out of the country and tend towards the world. At the same time, our lives appear many foreign brands with the same idea and purpose. A company whether can set up its own brand in this time of rapid economic growth and gain more development space, the key depend on product quality and research and development. But once you out of the country, you will face different culture, language, customs... under the background of the international market. The trademark language is a kind of language different from the ordinary word, and the ordinary word comparison implication is more profound and the content enriches makes the people easy to remember. For example advertisement and translation of trademark will play a crucial role in the early stage. It is not an exaggeration to say that when an enterprise’s brand is in the international market, the name of the commodity translated appreciately or not. In a sense, it is directly related to the brand in the international market, in a way, is directly related to the enterprise brand in the international market.

Nowadays we can see all kinds of trademarks when we walking in the street. The trademark is has the remarkable feature of a commodity producer or business operator who use it in order to distinguish his goods from other people's goods. Therefore, in the circulation of commodities, trademark is the symbol of commodities. Some trademarks is a word, some trademarks are just a simple image design, while some signs are the combination of graphics and words. Taking trademarks advertising commodity has become an important way of enterprises to tap the potential of international market and promote the development of international trade. Trademark translation is the transformation from one language to another, and to maintain its original style and connotation. Nowadays more and more foreign goods are entering the Chinese market. Meanwhile, more and more Chinese products are selling goods all around the world. How successfully translate the English trademark into Chinese trademark has become a problem for many enterprises and the translator to consider, and if China's enterprises have intention to enter the international market, that must be consider how to have good translate for Chinese trademark the into the English trademark.

This paper starts from the taboo of trademark translation, analyzes the cultural taboos which should be paid attention to in the process of trademark translation due to different cultures of various countries. With the exchange of Chinese and foreign products, the translation of trademarks is inevitable, so the translation of trademarks plays an important role in the sale of goods outside the home. The first chapter mainly introduces the background and significance of trademark translation. The second chapter mainly introduces the method of trademark translation. The third chapter mainly introduces the different cultural taboos in different cultures, and the fourth chapter mainly puts forward some corresponding strategies for the cultural taboos in the world. The fifth chapter mainly summarizes the full content.

2. Translation Methods of Trademark

In the process of trademark translation, businessmen strive for trademark individuality, concise content, break through the rules of grammar, as far as possible with the least content text bearing the most corporate culture and commodity value, and to make consumers have the desire to buy the goods and facilitate the effect of memory.( 许金杞. 意美、音美、形美——英文商标的汉译[J], 外语与外语教学,2002, (11): 48.).

2.1Transliteration

Transliteration is based on the pronunciation of English trademarks, which are translated in the same or similar pronunciation of Chinese characters. Its advantage is that it can maintain the original pronunciation advantage of the original brand and brand name, which can reflect the exotic atmosphere of the goods. Taking transliteration of trademark name is mainly composed of a person's name, enterprise name or other proper noun. This method is used in both English trademark translation and Chinese trademark translation. A common used for transliteration English trademark, such as Sony, L 'Orea, Nike, Casio, Revlon, Ikea etc.

2.2 Synthetic Phonics

Synthetic Phonics is to cut words or make words together, create a new word to translation brand name, make the brand name novel and interesting, impressive, and have abundant association. Therefore, it can play a role in the advocacy. Such as 新意达集团“Newit” (New + Wit), 东方星钟表“Eastar”(Eeast + star), 肤美灵化妆品“Skinice”(skin + nice), 金霸王电池“Durable cell” (Durable + Cell), 尤妮佳“Unicharm”(union + charm), 德生电 “Tecsun”(technology+ sun).

2.3 Spelling

The trademark taking spelling which is more simply and intuitive, and is named directly in the form of pinyin. Such as:大宝(DABAO)、六神(LIUSHEN)、华为(HUAWEI)etc. When we use pinyin to translate the name of an English trademark, sometimes it does not have corresponding words or expressions of Chinese. Some trademarks will be presented in the form of pinyin in the translation process, but the word may have different meanings in English-speaking countries. For example, there is a trademark called “FUCK Pincers”, which probably initials of the company name. But in English, the word means “cheating, cajoling” or even sex slang. Therefore, when we translate trademarks, we should be careful of each country of cultural differences and cultural taboos. Although the use of pinyin translation of trademarks have failed cases, but the use of Pinyin translation of trademarks have a successful case. Such as “Chun Lan”(春兰空调)and “Chang Hong”(长虹空调). But these successes are in the minority. Some trademarks that use pinyin translation can be misleading, produce negative associations and cause ambiguity. Such as the lipstick brand “芳芳”, translated by pinyin as “Fang Fang”, but in English, the word “Fang” means “along, sharp tooth of a dog; a snake’s poison-tooth”. So, for cosmetics that want to make people beautiful, the translation is too different from its original meaning, and it can't arouse consumers' desire to buy. Although pinyin translation is relatively simple compared with other translation methods, but the trademark is only a sign, which usually loses the deep meaning of the original trademark. For example, “金龙” translates to “King Long”. The pronunciation of “金” and “King” is very close, and it has a noble meaning, and this conversion is reasonable. In China, “龙” is the symbol of Chinese culture, symbolizing the meaning of justice and prosperity, but the word “Long” in English pronunciation for “Wolf” so with the meaning of “龙” have a clear difference in meaning. In these cases, the loss of the original meaning of the trademark but also to foreign consumers puzzled, do not understand what these trademarks mean, thus affecting the sales volume.

2.4 Liberal Translation

The liberal translation refers to the translation according to the purport of the original text, not the word translation. Usually in the translation of sentences or phrases used more, liberal translation is mainly used in the original language and the translation of large cultural differences in the case. Liberal translation is more able to reflect the language characteristics of the nation. The transliteration of trade mark means that the translator has to abandon the literal meaning of the original text in order to conform to the original content and the main language function, which is based on the national culture and focuses on the cultural connotation. In other words, the transliteration is a completely literal translation. Such as “Red Bull”(红牛饮料),“Microsoft”(微软),The liberal translation, also called "Functional equivalence translation", usually only chooses the content of the original text and discards its form, which is a kind of translation after digestion. For example: “雀巢咖啡”translated into Nescafe. Nescafe is the abbreviation of Nestle Coffee, why do you have this translation? Because the coffee's outsourcing bottle cap is printed with the design of Nestle, its English is Nestle, and the “咖啡” translation is coffee, so in translating, The translator according to the meaning take two words together is “Nescafe”.

3. The Culture Taboos in Translation of Trademark

Because in international trade different countries have different social, historical and cultural backgrounds, a commodity often appears to be popular in one country, but in another it is neglected. This is because the translator did not take fully the cultural and historical background of the trademark translation into account, which led to the marketing failure. Translators should have a certain understanding of different countries of national culture and cultural taboos, there will not due to the mistake of trademark translation, result in the failure of commodity marketing. ( Nida, E. “Language, Culture and Translating”, 上海: 上海外语教育出版社, 1993.).

3.1 Taboos of National Psychology

National psychology refers to the character, temperament, emotion, value orientation, religious mentality and aesthetic psychology of a nation. Although the psychological model of a nation has the same characteristics as other nationalities, but most of them are different and mutually exclusive. The national psychological differences make people have psychological conflict in the people intercourse, and form the barrier of mutual intercourse. National psychology is the inherent psychological characteristic of a nation in the process of long-term evolution. Because different ethnic groups are affected by different ecological environment, religious belief and historical political and cultural background, different ethnic groups form different national psychology. Different national psychology has created different values and consuming psychology. The psychological mode of a nation inevitably influences its shopping mentality. In the process of trademark translation, if we ignore the national psychological differences, the good products will not be bought for the unacceptable translated trademark in sales place. Such as “帆船” carpet is also the traditional export products translated into junk results in the United States market no one to buy. Originally junk in English sailing accident also have rubbish, tattered meaning. Later it was translated into “Junco” to attract the attention of foreign people. Because of the different customs and morals of each country and nation, the translator should consider the culture and customs of the place of sale. The trademark of the  “太阳神口服液” wants to show the world that the oral liquid can be full of youthful vigor, not directly translated into the "the god of the sun", the translator in the translation of the Cultural transformation, translated as "Apollo", the ancient Greek sun God's meaning, representing the light and youth, with the original language.

3.2 Element of Politics, Economy and History

Politics, economy and history determine the status of a country in the world, so it is a cultural taboo is an important factor to be considered in the translation of trademarks and a sensitive factor, so it is very important to take into account the political, economic and historical taboos in translation. Such as OPIUM perfume, inventor of the trademark in 1977 had been to China, he started from the Chinese snuff bottle modeling inspiration, created the "OPIUM" brand perfume, trademark means "OPIUM", translated as OPIUM will remind the Chinese of humiliation of the opium war, the strong national pride makes the perfume was listed in China slammed by consumers, and eventually banned due to violation of China's trademark law. Bear in modern economic terms, it can be matched with market, which means "market of falling market", popularly known as "weak city, market and bear market". Such words should not be used on trademarks.

3.3 The Variation of Culture Taboos in Different Countries

3.3.1 The Variation of Animal’s Symbolic Meaning

Panda: in China, they are seen as animals and pets, but in Muslim countries, they are seen as pig. African trademark also bans the panda.

Bats: westerners believe it is a symbol of terror, death and foreboding. Even kids know it's a vampire. However, in our country, it is regarded as a symbol of happiness, as an auspicious omen.

Elephant: in India, Sri Lanka and other countries are auspicious things and solemn symbols. But in some European countries, elephants have the same meaning as idiots

Owl: in our country, the owl is regarded as an ominous sign. In addition to the Swiss, westerners believe that it is the embodiment of wisdom, courage and toughness.

Peacock: in our country and south Asia, it symbolizes auspiciousness and beauty. India also sees it as a national bird, but Europeans see the peacock as a scourge.

Dogs: dogs in the west are seen as a loyal partner, protected by law. Instead, in some parts of northern Africa, people hate dogs and taboo dogs.

Cats: in many countries, they are considered pets. Europeans think cats can bring good luck. But many people in western countries think black cats are unlucky.

The crane: our country regards it as a symbol of good luck and longevity, while the French think the crane is a stupid man's name.

Rabbit: many countries think that rabbits are cute and docile, but in Australia they are the exception. Because rabbits eat grass, they are the bane of wool production, so they don't like the “rabbi” brand.

Phoenix: in our country is a kind of the miraculous animals, on behalf of the "lucky, happiness, and elegant. Chinese people  believed that a “凤凰”bicycle can bring good luck, but in western culture legend phoenix is not dead bird, there is the meaning of" renewable "and" resurrection ", so the goods no takers in the west it is not surprising. A similar example of “喜鹊”,but the English word is “magpie” is talking about boring people in the west.

3.3.2 The Variation of Number Symbolic Meaning

0: Indians believe that the number ending in 0 is positive.

1: in the eyes of westerners, “1” means perfection and initiation.

3: the Greeks and Egyptians considered the “3” to be sacred, dignified and auspicious. Some western countries see this as an unlucky number.

4: North Korea, Japan and China think this number is unlucky. In the eyes of Japanese, it is lazy and useless. The Arabs thought it was immortal, so they attached great importance to this number.

7: Some Europeans and Americans think this is a good luck, while Singaporeans have the opposite idea.

8: this is a lucky number in China, which is very similar to the word "发", which people tend to choose when choosing a number. Singaporeans, however, say the Numbers are not good.

13: the west and Singapore think this number will bring bad luck and misfortune. So there are no 13 floors in western countries.

Digital deification also shows the difference between east and west. In our country “666”, “999”, “金六福”, “三元” and “13” these digital products, in the United States can see the “7-up”, “Modle Seven” and “7-eleven”and other trademarks of goods, but “666”, “13” goods exported to the United Kingdom and the United States will become a problem, because the “six” in the west is the symbol of the devil, 13 is an unlucky number. It is difficult for us to master the culture of each country, which requires us to accumulate knowledge to avoid the cultural taboos of other countries in the translation of trademarks.

3.3.3 The Variation of Color Symbolic Meaning

In China, green symbolizes life, red symbolizes passion, white symbolizes purity, and black symbolizes solemnity. In the United States, light colors are generally liked, such as ivory, light green, light blue, yellow, pink, light yellow, and they don't like purple. In France, people have imaginative about color. In addition, the color research and application is very exquisite, like red, yellow, blue and other colors. Bright-color is regarded as the symbol of vogue, luxuriant, nobility, so bright-color is popular in France. In eastern France, boys in fashion wear blue and girls wear pink. For Belgium, chrysanthemum means death, so similar to the chrysanthemum color won't welcome. For southern Belgium, girls love pink and boy love blue, ordinary people love the elegant grey. Avoid dark green, black and green color for Nazi uniform. It is not appropriate to use blue and yellow as a commercial in Sweden. Many countries like green, especially in the desert where Arabs see green as life, and green as a symbol of life for the flag. The Japanese, however, taboo green, who think green, is unlucky. In Malaysia, green is the symbol of disease. Westerners use white to symbolize purity, and black symbolizes death. Britain regards “red” as cruel and unlucky. In western countries, westerners regard white as a symbol of purity and beauty, and the bride's wedding dress is white, which symbolizes the purity and fidelity of love.

4.  Coping Strategies of Cultural Taboos in the Process of Translation

Trademarks are the unity of language and culture. Trademark translation, with the perspective of cross-cultural communication, accurately grasp, the surface culture and deep culture, which can turn the material value to the abstract spiritual value. It allowed consumers to understand the material value of goods and material language culture and spiritual culture. Goods are sold to different countries and regions, so cultural differences between different types and degrees are necessarily reflected in the language. Although the translator deals with individual words in trademark translation, the translator always faces two cultures. Facing with fierce competition, the translator must have a strong awareness of intercultural communication, and break the bondage of language form equivalence concept in order that bring out the sound and make all brand names of goods have broad market prospects.( [3] Newmark, Peter. A Textbook of Translation[M]. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, 2001.).

4.1 Catering to Consumer Psychology

Culture affects all aspects of our lives. It restricts and regulates the process of feeling the world and forming ideas, thus forming some perceptual cultural determinism. These perceptual stereotypes affect people's values and consumer psychology. The translation of trademarks must take into account the cultural habits and aesthetic psychology of consumers. In international trade, it is not difficult to find that the product of the same trademark is popular in one place and suffers from a snub in another. It is important that whether trademark translation can cater to consumers' aesthetic psychology. A people said that "The translator must be a real cultural person". If the translator is not sufficiently knowledgeable about the language and cultural phenomena of the target language, it is likely to make unavoidable mistakes in language or culture. For example, the “白象” battery produced in our country is translated as “White Elephant”, originally in English, “White Elephant” meaning is “big and useless”. For example, there is a kind of electric appliance called “蝙蝠”, the Chinese will take their homophonic, “蝠-福气”. When translated into “Bat”, it will cause Westerners to resent it because they hate the animal. It is important to know how to translate the correct trademark. The import trademarks translation needs to take into account the traditional culture of China and the consumption psychology of Chinese consumers. Foreign products enter the Chinese market, if they want to set up a good product image, and be loved by Chinese consumers, they should have a translation which is consistent with Chinese consumers' cultural habits and aesthetic psychology Such as the United States drink “Coca Cola”, a translator used several of its similar homophonic Chinese characters as their trademark name in its first sale in China, the result is no one buy, because these several Chinese characters together reminiscent of the shape of the tadpole, meaning of “啃蜡蝌蚪”. Later, a called Jiang Yi translator careful study of the translation of the “Coca-Cola”, not only retained the “cola” pronunciation, but also cater to the Chinese consumer's psychology, point out its “delicious” taste, and the “happy” effect. In a sense, “cola” can be sold in the Chinese market, which is a good idea of the translation has played a great role.

4.2 The Use of Concise Language

For trademark translation, consumers are impressed by the simple and easy to understand and easy to understand. Because of the significant differences in pronunciation, word formation, historical background and cultural tradition between Chinese and English, some of the most concise and powerful trademarks in one language may appear to be protracted and difficult to remember. For example the American beer “Budweiser”, translate into“百德威斯” is difficult to remember Obviously there is no “百威” to be concise, and "百威" makes people feel refreshed and infinitely powerful. The trademark translation should make the reader feel good, remember, love and be willing to buy its goods, such as “Panten”(潘婷), “Olay” (玉兰油), the translation is elegant and pleasant to hear. Therefore, when translating trademarks, we should bear in mind the memory function of trademarks, make the translation straightforward and simple, easy to read and easy to remember, and try to avoid those lengthy and cumbersome ones, that is, no real meaning, difficult to read and hard to remember . The most important goal of trademark translation is to enable consumers to remember the products they represent through the translation of trademarks. Therefore, trademark translation must be simple, easy to remember and vivid image.

4.3 Reflecting Commodity Information

The function of a trademark is to illustrate the performance of the commodity and reflect the characteristics of the commodity. A trademark is also a concise advertisement. A commodity wants to open sale, besides the quality is good, the variety is opposite the road, the price is reasonable, very important one is the translation of the trademark. By trademark, people can have the most basic understanding of the commodity, as far as possible to the purpose of pre-sale. Therefore, the translation of the trademark should indicate the performance of the commodity from one aspect of the commodity, leaving a deep impression on the consumers. The translation must conform to the nature of the product and reflect its accurate positioning in the original text. For example: the world famous toothpaste brand Crest has the meaning of “Top, Peak point, Helmet” and so on, which makes people think of the “hard and hard surface protection”. If it can protect the teeth like a helmet, who can say no? Today, P&G products are almost everywhere in the world, and the “Safeguard” is particularly profound. The word is composed of “safe + guard”, safe means “safe, safe, reliable” and “guard” means “protection” two words together, became a “security”. This can make people think that the product is safe and does not stimulate the skin and can also play a role in skin care. The translation of the trademark should indicate the performance of the product and impress the consumers. Such as: the name “Benz” of Germany comes from the name of “KarlBenz”. In Taiwan, it was translated as “朋驰” and also translated as “本茨”. Although these translations are similar to the original name, the literal meaning does not reflect the performance of the goods, or it can be said to have no meaning. Now, "Benz" is translated as “Benz”, which is similar to the original name, which can also be thought of in the literal meaning of the translated name to the excellent performance of the car. Again such as “Nike” and “original intention”, the Greek goddess of victory, “娜姬”, “Nike” to the original feeling of propaganda object may be like a beautiful and victory, and the feeling of “Nike” to the Chinese tend to be more abrasion resistance, more in line with the consumer psychology of the Chinese . Excellent trademarks try to reflect the characteristics and advantages of commodities to cater to consumers' purchasing psychology. These logos are full of allegorical or inspiring people's rich associations to create an irresistible feeling.

The trademark language is a kind of language different from the ordinary word, and the ordinary word comparison implication is more profound and the content enriches makes the people easy to remember. Trademark language has several characteristics,First, the trademark language to have independence, only has the independent trademark to give the consumer the visual impact and the appeal, thus achieves the recognition and the approval goal. In other words, there could be no other identical trademarks. Second, the trademark language should be symbolic, trademark logo must have a high cohesion and profound implication. This requires businesses in the development of trademarks to the corporate culture, entrepreneurial spirit and the characteristics of enterprise products in the brand. Third, the trademark language should also be descriptive, refers to the trademark language generally implies the quality of goods, indicating its characteristics and performance. Four, the trademark language should also have the imagination characteristic, this can give the consumer an imaginary space, lets the consumer feel that uses this kind of product to have the unexpected effect. Five, use foreign words to do trademark language, according to their own cultural patterns, new things to be reconstructed.

Trademark translation is to change the trademark from one language to another language, and maintain its original style and connotation. Trademark translation and cultural differences are inseparable. In social life culture plays an important role, it greatly affects people's daily life. The diversity of culture determines that there are some differences in the way of thinking, aesthetic taste, consumption concept and values of the commodity trademarks. Trademarks are the unity of language and culture. With the continuous deepening and development of cross-cultural communication studies, trademark translation will promote the promotion of trademark promotion of international business exchanges. Because of the geographical position, the political system, the race system and the level of economic development, there are different countries. Enterprises should use cross-cultural communication knowledge that doing a good job of trademark translation, development their own brand strategy, making their own brand. The good trademark translation has great important, the trademark connotation rich can embody the product characteristic. If the trademark is easy to remember, easy to read, easy to understand and vivid, it is the selling point of goods and can arouse the desire of consumers to buy. Only good to guessing consumer psychology and respect for national habits, so as to properly use the advantages of trademark translation to guide consumer consumption. The translation of trademarks is a complex problem, and there are many factors that need to be considered, and cultural factors are one aspect of which the cultural factors of the target market must be studied in order to make the products have good sales, and the translators of trademarks should pay attention to cultural factors and improve their cultural attainment.

Trademark translation is to give consumers a pleasant feeling and deep impression, lure them to consume and buy the product. And the difference of national cultures is a barrier to trademark translation, so in the process of trademark translation, it’s necessary to consider the appropriate translation methods and the different ethnic cultural backgrounds and taboos. Understanding and applying the cultural differences between the commodity producing countries and the commodity selling countries, use flexible and varied translation methods,make the trademark beautiful and elegant, easy to remember and impressive. A good translation of the trademark helps to establish the image of the enterprise and provide consumers with acceptable goods for different countries. In the process of trademark translation, translators should follow certain translation principles, use appropriate translation methods to enable consumers to understand the meaning of trademarks and according to consumer spending habits and consumption psychology under appropriate translation to add a good name for trademarks. Such a good trademark can help companies compete in most brands and improve the international competitiveness of commodities. Therefore, in the commodity circulation, the trademark is the commodity symbol. The use of trademarks to promote products, and establish a good corporate image has become an important way for countries to tap the potential of international market and promote the development of international trade. 

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