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Linguistic - Essay Example

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Translation in advertisements name: Subject: The world today is composed of different people who speak different languages and who have embraced different cultures. Different people that speak different languages have also embraced different living standards and different customs all in all…
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Linguistic
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Linguistic

Though advertisements do not take into consideration this matter, it indeed affects their effectiveness because; it determines how useful the advertisement will be, in terms of the number of people who understood it and the number of people who found it useful. Taking for example an advertisement given in Arabic; it is only persons who understand Arabic that will understand the advertisement. And thus, the market that it will create will be limited to Arabs only. Thus, with advertisers always targeting a wide market area, they will try to translate the advertisements into as many different languages as possible. The translation of the advertisement will always distort the intended message, with different cultures getting a different meaning of it all depending on the language that they use. Some advertisements may even become ambiguous when translated due to losing all their meaning. Sofer (2006, p. 100) states that in translation of advertisements one has to go beyond straight translation of text because he or she will be targeting a completely different audience, therefore, has to take into consideration issues such as political, cultural, and even religious issues. Other scholars also argue that translation is not just putting words in different languages but also involves finding the manner in which to put the words. This is because; what is morally upright in one language may become completely immoral when translated into another language. Hence, there are different subjects in regard of translation of advertisements which should be taken into account when placing out advertisements to the public. Culture The term culture has been defined differently by different scholars though all of the definitions revolve around beliefs, moral values, customs and practices, language factor, religion and ethnicity. Different cultures also can also be identified by the difference in the foods eaten. Some foods are also prohibited or even considered to be unclean by some cultural communities. Therefore, advertisements have to take such issues into consideration before going public. Taking for example and advertisement for pork would be fine according to the English men. But once translated to Arabic, it would be against their cultural and religious values since according to their culture, pork is unclean and not worthy to be eaten. Advertisements would thus, consider it wise to use general words which once translated would be acceptable to both English and Arabic cultures if they want to build a market in both areas. Taking another example of an advertisement about fast foods; we see that while French-fries and burgers will be considered to be fast-foods by English men, in the Arabic world a kind of food called ‘falafel’ is their fast-food. Thus, with such an ad might just not make any sense in the Arabic market if it still uses fries as fast-foods. The moral values of a culture should also be considered when placing advertisements; an issue that has been taken for granted by many advertisers. Some words like homosexuality may be general and normal when used in English advertisements. When such are however translated to other languages, they may lose meaning and imply something immoral. This mainly occurs due to non-equivalence which implies that the target language does not have a direct equivalent for a word in the source text (Baker, 1992, p. 20). Taking for instance, in Arabic, a ... Read More
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