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An interesting brief talk on translating brand names into Chinese

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 15:15

I found this talk on translating brand names into Chinese interesting:


It shows how creative translators need to be if the translation is to be effective.  In some cases, as in the example of "mini", there is a "lucky" coincidence of sounds that matchg the original and a positive meaning (although, this new meaning rather changes the connotation of the original).  In some cases, there has been more of a focus on the meaning and the original sound is lost and someone not speaking Chinese will not know what car is being referred to - as in the translation for Land Rover.

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Translating Ideas

A recent newspaper article discussed the work of Tim Lomas [ www.drtimlomas.com] on intercultural translation of ideas. Jugaad [Hindi] - the ability to get by. Sobremesa [Spanish] - when the food is gone but the conversation still flows. Apparently Tim Lomas has published a list of 216 such words in The Journal of Positive Psychology. Presumably this lexicon was not the result of a Schapsidee [German} - a daft plan dreamt up under the influence of alcohol. Regards, Terry.

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Thanks, Terry

These are interesting examples of words that cannot be translated by just one word.  I had a friend who referred to daft ideas as a "19 pint comment" but I suppose that does not necessarily mean the daft idea was really trhe result of alcohol.

Of course, some of these words enter a new language if the idea is seen as useful enough - eg schedenfreude.