Questions

Which one is the best way to translate English brand name to another language?

I have two options to translate English brand name to another language. These options are either based on sound (pronunciation) or meaning. Which one is the best option? Will customer confuse when we are using the meaning translation?

3answers

Beware of generalizations! Translating a brand name is always a very unique situation. It depends very much on the languages, the audience, the product, the branding goals, and the name itself.

Sometimes transliteration works. Sometimes it doesn't.

Sometimes translating the underlying meaning works. Sometimes it doesn't.

Sometimes the original brand name can be left intact. Sometimes a separate brand name for a separate language audience is a good idea.

Give me a call, and I'd be happy to advise you on your particular case. Brand names are my full time job. I'm also familiar with the challenges of translation and localization, since I speak Arabic and Spanish and report weekly on brand names in Chinese, German, Italian, Portuguese, French, etc.


Answered 5 years ago

I advise some companies that are expanding business overseas. What has seemed to be of more importance than the name - vast majority of brands keep their original names - is associative meaning. That is, not merely the meaning of the name itself, but some connected meaning that makes consumer trust you and wish to try out your brand.

I'd love to talk with you about targeting consumers based on their aspirations and values, as well as what you hope to accomplish in that country.

Warmly,
Arjun


Answered 5 years ago

Brand name is a fascinating topic as that can very often boost or slow down your brand awareness and company growth.
I have co-funded 2 companies and we did spend time selecting names that would be understandable to most and therefore excluding the need to translate: Grace & Wilde (lingerie) and Wolf Leaders Academy (Leadership courses).
Regarding your question: it all depends on the reason why you would like to translate your brand name. Is this because the alphabet is not the same? Generally it's a good (read: effective) practice to select a brand name that is understandable and easy to pronounce to most people in the world (or not understandable at all: take Google as it's an invented name). I'm happy to go on a call with you to learn more about your brand and needs for a translation.


Answered 5 years ago

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