On English Advertisement and Its translation

By Peggy Lane,2014-09-11 19:34
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On English Advertisement and Its translation


    th Advertisement, which became popular in England in the middle of 17 century, meant

    commercial notice‖ originally. Varying with the development of economy and large

    adoption of advertisements, its meaning has been improved from time to time. The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines advertising as any paid form of

    non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified

    [1]sponsor; And according to what is said in Oxford Dictionary of ECONOMIC,

    advertisement is activity designed to sell products. It seeks to attract the attention of potential customers, inform them of the existence and attributes of a product, and persuade them to start or continue to buy it .It works via the media ,that is ,newspapers or television; by shop displays, posters, or mail shots; or through the actual design of products themselves and the packaging ,while there is a logical distinction between informative and persuasive advertising, psychologically these are extremely difficult to distinguish, political, charitable and religious bodies ,and the government advertise as well as

    [2]commercial organizations. Advertisement is a practical style, it possesses unique

    language characters and expressing strategies. Its translation is also provided with unique

    ways and principles.

1 The feature of English advertisement

    1.1 Feature of vocabulary

    1.1.1Expressing information explicitly with few colloquial style words


     English advertisements may exist in any forms while having the same motivation: to persuade people to buy commodities or do something. Hence every advertisement should be readable and understandable to win customers’ consentience and believing .Example:

    [3] (1) The records be worth gonna, so keep good track of that tape.(gonna=going to )

    [4] (2)My Goodness! My Guideness! (Guideness brand of beer)

     In above examples, gonna and ―my goodness‖ are used in colloquial way for

    understanding and memorizing .

    1.1.2.Using an abundance of adjectives

    To promote sales, advertisers need to adorn their commodities, thus an abundance of adjectives (esp. in commendatory term)are used in advertisements. According to the statistics by G.H. Leech (English linguist),20 adjectives are used most frequently in English advertisements, they are(from high frequency to low): new, good/ better/ best, free, fresh, delicious, full, sure, clean, wonderful, special, crisp, fine, big, great, real, easy, bright, extra, safe and rich. In addition, there are some other commendatory objectives, such as fantastic, super, magic, amazing, excellent, unique etc. Sometimes, there are even some overlapping adjectives adopted in order to emphasize information or to make advertisements readable. Example:

    [5] (3)Big, Big Selection, Low, Low Price.

    1.1.3.Creating new words to attract customers

    Whiling designing advertisements, some advertisement writers intentionally spell words wrong and create some new words. Although the new words are different from old


    ones in terms, the original meanings still exist. In the way they make advertisements lively, interesting and attractive. Meanwhile, express information. Example:

    (4)We know Eggsactly how to sell eggs.

    [5] (5)TWOGETHER, The ultimate all inclusive one price sunkissed holiday.

    Obviously, in the above two advertisements, ―Eggsactly‖ and ―TWOGETHER‖ are

    respectively the disguised forms of ―exactly‖ and ―together‖.

    In addition, there are some simplified words existed in English. For instance: enuf

    [6] (=enough), rong (=wrong), tho(=though), tonite(=tonight),U(=you)etc.

    2.1.4Using abbreviate words to save the expenses.

    Since modern advertisement expenses are quite expensive, advisers are forced to retrench the length of writing. However, it can never sacrifice the expression of information, therefore, as the perfect approach, abbreviate words are used. Example:

     (6) The opening of a new branch in Singapore underlines the faith of UBS in this major financial center.

     This is a sentence from a trade service advertisement, and UBS is the abbreviate

    form of Union Bank of Switzerland.

    1.1.5Using foreign words to strengthen the spreading effect

     The foreign words used in English advertisement are mostly France. Because of the root of history, English has close relationship with France. Hence many advertisers make advertisements directly in France or insert France in them in order to wake certain imagination and achieve successful effect. Example:


    (7) First, pour unique bijorl perfumes .Van Cleef & Arpels Paris

     In this perfume advertisement, we can never see any mark of English except the word first .And its the very foreign emotional appeal who caters to the customers

    psychological demand. And the imagination from the advertisement add the attraction of perfume and stimulated customers passion of purchasing .Similarly, French is well-known

    for clothes and food, in such kind of advertisement, France can be inserted in to attract customers’ attention.

    1.2 Feature of sentence structure

    1.2 .1 Using elliptical sentence, imperative sentence and interrogative sentence ordinarily

     To have peoples attention, sentences in English advertisements should be simple attractive and easy to understand. Therefore, many elliptical sentences, imperative sentences and interrogative sentences are utilized in English advertisements .Example:

    [7] (8) Bright ties, ties for the cool, and certainly the confident.

    (9) Taste that beats the other cold.

    (10) The Seiko Ladies Quartz .Pretty, isn’t she?

    Every example represents a sentence style. And every type has its certain advantages.

    Elliptical sentence, flexible as it is, saves lots of time and expenses, while letting people be clearly at a glance of the information; imperative sentence, release people from receiving information passively and appropriately direct customers will; and interrogative

    sentence, exist once in 30 sentences in English advertisements, promotes people to think


    and to answer their questions so as to make them excited and then arouse their reflection. 1.2.2 Using present tense customarily

    Present tense is customarily used to indicate that the commodities character can

    persist for ever. Example:

    (11)M & Ms melt in your mouth, not in your hands. (M&Mchocolate)

    1.2.3. Using active voice mostly and avoid using passive vioce

    According to statistics, passive vioce takes the minimum frequency in comedy dialogues, and then in English advertisement.(Svartvik, 1996) The reason for this attributes to the essence of advertisementsdemonstrate itself to others and promote sales. Example:

    (12) Aquanaut Sylvia Earle probes earths other space.

    1.3 Features of rhetoric

    Since English and its literature existed, rhetoric existed. The adoption of rhetoric enormously enriched the express ability and express effect of languagesby making

    language vivid and making people conceive a lot. And in English advertisement, rhetoric has been wildly used; both to propagate the features of certain goods and to convey the information of describe the experience of using the goods. It not only makes the advertisements vivid and clear-cut, but makes the information appropriately conveyed. Therefore, in order to make a nascent and attractive advertisement, emphasize on the excellence of the vocabulary and sentence structure, but also on the rhetoric. And the frequently rhetorical in English advertisement are: simile, metaphor, personification, pun, parallelism, hyperbole and rhyme.


1.3.1 Simile

    Simile is a figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another different similar thing by like‖ ―as to express certain similarity between the two. Example:

    (13) Fly smooth as silk and enjoy award winning food and service.

    This is an advertisement from an airline company of Thailand, in which smooth as

    silk is used to express the safety and stabilization of the flight. And the good image appeal vividly on the paper. Hence it strengthens the readers’ image about the excellent service of

    Thailand flight.

    1.3.2 Metaphor

    Metaphor is a figure of speech in which an object or idea is compared to another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them .In metaphors we don’t use ―as or like,

    generally, readers can feel them out from the context, In English advertisement, metaphor is wildly used, designers often apply some glorious things to substitute the commodities

    name, so as to add the languages aesthetic perception. Example:

    (14) EBEL the architects of time. (EBEL watch )

    This is a pitch of Switzerland watch .No need to say many other words, the quality of this kind of watch has been embodied.

    1.3.3. Pun

    Pun means using of a word in such a way as to express one meaning on the surface while hiding another.

    In English advertisement, using pun properly can make language veiled, humorous,


    vivid and have people imagine and re-experience through memorized. There are different types of puns in advertisement. Example:

    (15) Trust us. Over 5000 ears of experience.

    (16) Spoil yourself and not your figure. (Weight-watcher)

    (17) Coke refreshes you like no other can (coke-cola)

    (18) Youll go nuts for the nuts you get in Nux.

    Example 15 is an advertisement for deaf-aid, literally, it expresses the information that product has been experienced by many customers .However, it ingeniously uses a pair of pun: earsyears. In this way it indicates the deaf-aids time-honoured history and high

    quality .This is a homophony pun.

    Example 16 is about a kind of ice cream named weight- watcher, in this example,

    pun does not only exist in the brand weight watcher, but also in the word spoil. When

    matched with yourself, it means enjoy, and when matched with your figure, it means

    destroy. This advertising, by using the pun, make those people who want to lose weight accept the product in a humorous and relaxed mood. It is a pun used in the light of the words meaning, we call it meaning pun.

    And in example 17, the designer used the grammar of the word can, can is a

    manner verb as well as a noun tin. The whole sentence here can be understood as coke

    refreshes you like no other (can: tin)can (refresh you ).we may call the pun here a grammar pun.

     Then in example 18, ―Nux is a brand of nuts .The advertisement seems to mean go


to buy nuts by saying to go nuts. However, to go nuts is also an idiom which means

    be crazy about. The pun used here indicates that Nuxs charm to people is hard to

    [7] resist .Since the pun is used as an idiom here, we call it idiom pun

    1.3.4 Parallelism

    Parallelism is a rhetoric device which means using of parallel sentences of relevant meanings and similar structures to emphasize or render depth to the narration .It is wildly used in English advertising to attract peoples attention and leave them a deep impression.


    (19) If your walls are in bad shape, if the idea of a careless, durable wall covering tempts you, if you want t up-to-date a room fast, Plywood paneling is for you.

    In the advertising the word if is repeated for 3times. It refers to every possible

    opinion in people’s mind and expresses the sincere concern from the advertiser. Thus it achieves a perfect expressing effect.

    1.3.5 Personification

    Personification means treating something that is without life as a human being or repeating it in human form.

    Personification can approach very good effect while being used in English advertisement. It gives life to commodities and makes them lively, which stimulates the readers purchasing will.

    Theres an advertisement designed to apply service for repairing leather handbag says that wherever it hurts, well heal it‖, in this sentence ,the designer compares the handbag


to wounded people, and compares mending handbag to heal it, it fit the image very

    much and make the whole advertising vivid and interesting.

2. The strategies of English advertisement

    As products become established and competition increases, advertising strategies must change. During a products growth and maturing stages, for instance, marketers may choose one of three common approaches:

    2.1Persuasive advertising

    Persuasive advertising is a strategy that tries to influence customers to buy one companys products instead of those of its rivals. This approach usually emphasizes the quality of the firms goods or services. Major insurance companies, such as New York Life, are using persuasive advertising when they emphasize safety and security for policyholders.

    2.2 Comparative advertising

    Another useful strategy during the maturity stage is comparative advertising, in

    which two or more products are compared directly .Broadly speaking, the goal is to steal sales from the competition.


    (20) On the face of it, Visa Travelers Cheques and the traveler’s cheques from the

    American Express appear to be the same. But the reality is, whenever you buy Visa Travelers Cheques, well make a donation to the U.S. Olympic Team. So not only can you


feel confident about the cheques you carry, youll also have helped our Olympic athletes in

    their bid for victory in92.So now that you see these travelers cheques for what they really

    [8]are, your choice should be clear.

    By comparing two kinds of travelers cheques, it emphasizes the prominent feature of Visa Travelers Cheques. Then, naturally, it will arouse people’s attention and incite their

    purchasing desire.

    2.3 Reminder advertising

    During the late part of the maturity stage and throughout the decline stage, reminder

    advertising can help to keep the products name in the consumers mind. Thus Atari

    continues to advertise home video games even though market attention has shifted to

    [9] newer competitors like Nintendo, Sega, and Genesis.

3. Translation of English advertisement

    3.1 The factors affecting translating English advertisement. 3.1.1 Cognitive environment

    Cognitive environment is an important conception raised by Sperber & Wilson (1986/1995), it means the collection of the facts manifested psychologically and the information. It is the prerequisite of the attitude of the people.

    In advertising communication, the attitude of the target addressees is decisive to the success or failure of the campaign as well as the communication. Therefore, superior importance is attached to the target addressees’ cognitive environment and its assessment,


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