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Translating Your Brand

Medical Pharmaceutical Translations • Oct 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM

Building a brand is no easy feat.  It doesn’t happen overnight and building a successful one takes thought, strategic planning, and time.  Your brand is your outward face to the world.  It represents who you are.

Your audience understands your brand through words and images and it’s easy to assume translation is an even exchange.  If you translate words one for one, the image you communicate in English will be the same image you get back in Russian, da?


Though the content may be accurate and the grammar correct, the resulting translation may not impart the same style and tone representing your brand.

To avoid reworking the project post-translation, you need, (what else?): communication.  To protect your brand’s identity during the translation of your communication pieces, your translators need to understand exactly constitutes your brand’s identity.

Things to discuss with them include:

What kind of voice do you wish to communicate?  Friendly or formal?  Young or mature?

 Punctuation conveys style as well.  Capitals and periods may communicate formality whereas their omission may create a more relaxed vibe.

 Sentence structure should also be regarded.  Short and simple sentences “feel” different from long, complex sentences.

 Is the name of your company a big part of your brand?  Should it be spelled the same in all languages or localized for each target language?

 Words convey feelings, should the feeling be positive or negative?  Joyous or serious?

Your message can be communicated many different ways but your brand is unique.  Creating your brand took planning and thought and translating it should be no different.  Receiving a translation that does not convey your brand’s image means extra work (thus time and money) on the back end.  Before you translate, have an open dialogue with your translation team about the feelings and images you wish to create.

Sherry Dineen

#globalbranding #internationalbrands #internationalmarketresearch #translation

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