When translating for marketing material it is not only about translating the text into the target language, it is also about getting across the right message in the language needed. The translator needs to know how to promote the products of the company. There are a number of issues, cultural and social, that need to be taken into account. An experienced translator is needed for this as they need to adapt the language and style to convey the right message to the target audience. We have a few tips to help those who are considering a career in marketing translation or who already work in the industry.

Cultural Context

You need to consider the cultural context and adopt to it. We also advise that the translator thoroughly analyses the original document. Don’t be afraid to ask the opinion of others that are experienced in marketing translation. Pictures and images also need to be considered as some images may not be suitable for certain cultures and in some cases may be considered as inappropriate. You may need to speak to your employer and decide if certain elements need to be replaced.


A particular tricky part of marketing translation are Slogans. It is difficult to get a Slogan that works across all markets and languages so they often have to change in the target language. You must also consider space limitations. Most languages take up more space than English, assuming the source language is English. It would be a good idea to spend extra time on this and leave enough room for the target language.

Style, Tone and Global Marketing

The style and tone needs to be adapted to the target language. Once your target audience has been established you will be able to do this. The translator also needs to know if the project is global or regional in scope. This will help you when trying to figure out the target language also. If your project is global, then you may consider ‘global’ Spanish for example. If the project is only aimed towards Latin American audiences, for example, then the translator will choose a regional Spanish translations. You might have a specific audience and choose to use global language, due to budget issues, you could rick a bad response or not connect with your audience.

You also need to consider realistic deadlines as this can be a long process. This also isn’t a project to rush. Make sure there is enough time to complete the project properly. Check out some of our favourite neglected global marketing here!

  1. Pepsi’s slogan “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” was debuted in China as “Pepsi Brings You Back from the Grave.”


2. Mercedes-Benz entered the Chinese market under the brand name “Bensi,” which means “rush to die.”


3. KFC made Chinese consumers a bit apprehensive when “finger licking good” was translated as “eat your fingers          off.”


4. Coors translated its slogan, “Turn It Loose,” into Spanish, where it is a colloquial term for having diarrhea.