Zero Translation of Brand Name of Electronic Product
Brand name translation is important for these companies to make their products acceptable in China. But brand name translation is more difficult than translation of other text types because of its features and functions. Among all translation theories, functionalist translation theory, proposed in Germany in 1970s, breaks through traditional translation theories and focuses on functions of translation action.
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It provides zero translation with theoretic support. Zero translation is appropriate for brand name translation because zero translation emphasizes the effect of translation.
This thesis is going to introduce the difficulty of brand name translation, zero translation and functionalist translation theory with many examples of electronic product brand name to prove that zero translation is an effective method for translating brand name. Key words: Zero translation; Functionalist translation theory; brand name; electronic products I ?? ????????? ,???????? ,?????????????? ??????????? , ??????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????? ,20 ?? 70 ??????????????????????????? ,??? ???? , ?????????????????????????????? ??????????? ???????????????????????? ???? ?????????????????????????????? ??? :??? ;??????? ;?? ;???? II Zero Translation of Brand Name of Electronic Product Introduction During recent decades, China has become one of the largest markets in the world, and all international companies sell their products and services in China, including electronic products. In order to increase sales in China, many companies translate their brand names in Chinese to help Chinese consumers recognize and accept their products. However, there are many difficulties in translating brand names. On one hand, brand names and their translations must be informative and concise.
On the other hand, there are unavoidable differences between the culture of SL and that of TL. Equivalence-based theory focuses on the translation and the equivalence of content. But if the translation of brand name is simple, it often cannot express the cultural meaning of brand name in SL or the characteristics of products, and users of TL cannot understand the brand’s meaning or imagine the product’s characteristics as users of SL do. If the translation of brand name expresses the cultural meaning of SL fully, it usually cannot be simple and easy to be memorized.
Thus, how to translate brand names is difficult. In 1970s, functionalist theory was put forward and it emphasized the purpose of translation rather than the equivalence of content. The purpose of brand translation is to transmit the information of products such as advantages of products and the culture of company to domestic consumers. In consideration of conciseness and cultural differences, many brand names are translated with transliteration and transference. In 2001, Professor Qiu Maoru brought about a new term, zero translation, after the study of non-translation by Professor Du Zhengming in 2000.
In the view of Qiu, zero translation includes omission, transliteration and transference. In recent years, some studies have proved that zero translation is an effective method of brand name translation and it agrees with the functionalist translation theory. Since 1970s, with the development of technology, a large number of electronic products, such as computers, mobile phones, digital 1 cameras, have been developed and produced, and they have succeeded in changing people’s life style and work pattern.
This thesis is going to prove that zero translation is an applicable method of brand name translation by providing some typical examples and by analyzing the usage of zero translation in brand translation. Chapter 1 Literature Review 1. 1 Study of Du Zhengming Professor Du Zhengming defines zero translation as non-translation and he thinks that not only transferring the original form of SL into TL is a kind of non-translation but also transliteration is a kind of non-translation because non-translation is the opposite of translation and because translation is to translate meanings.
Du negates zero translation as a special method of translation, and it was unacceptable by others that his concept of zero translation covered transliteration and non-translation. 1. 2 Study of Qiu Maoru In 2001, Professor Qiu Maoru published an article named Translatability and Zero Translation in Chinese Translators Journal and brought forward the item, zero translation. “Zero translation means translating words in SL without using the ready-existing words in TL. It includes two meanings: 1. translating with a deliberate omission of words in SL; 2. ranslating without using the ready-existing words in TL. ” (Qiu 26) It is the first time that zero translation appears and triggers more debates on the definition of zero translation.
But the omission should not be considered as a kind of zero translation because it is different from transference and transliteration. The omission is used to keep briefness without losing cultural meaning of SL, but the other two are applied for avoiding losing cultural meaning, therefore the purpose of omission is different from those of the other two methods. 1. Study of Liu Mingdong 2 In 2002, Liu Mingdong divided zero translation into two kinds, absolute zero translation and relative zero translation on the base of the study of Qiu. The absolute zero translation means direct usage of original form in SL and it includes ellipsis and transference. Relative zero translation is to express words of SL with the appropriate usage of words in TL and it includes transliteration, sound-meaning combination translation, complementary translation, image translation, literal translation with notes and adaptation.
Although Liu developed the concept of zero translation, he still did not clarify the definition of zero translation. 1. 4 Study of Zhang Mengya In 2011, Zhang Mengya, in an article discussing brand zero translation, divided zero translation into two kinds, narrow zero translation and general zero translation. The former is transference and the latter contains transliteration and complementary translation. She further analyzed zero translation under the functionalist translation theory and thought that zero translation of brand name helped companies express their spirit based on the consumers’ cultural habits.
Although the definition of zero translation is still unclear, translators have accepted the concept of zero translation and take it as a common translation strategy. This thesis will not focus on the definition or the classification of zero translation and it will analyze the usage of zero translation in brand name translati on to prove the applicability of zero translation. Chapter 2 Introduction to Brand Name In the modern society, the world has unprecedented prosperity of economy, which embodies the improvement of living standard, the decrease of unemployment and the production of various commodities.
Meanwhile, competition is so fierce that all companies seek their own advantages to expand sales. Some companies with long history and virtue of excellent quality regard brand name as a significant advantage because it symbolizes recognition and faith of customers. What is brand name or trade 3 mark? “‘Brand name’ is the name given to a product by the company that makes it” (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 207) Brand name is a distinctive sign that help customers distinguish or identify particular products or services which produced or provided by a specific person, enterprise or a group of persons or enterprises.
For example, in 1972, in order to change its brand name to a special one, Standard Oil Company in New Jersey spent million dollars and hired hundreds of people and they managed to discover a group of letters, Exxon, which had been never used in any language on Earth and thus would avoid ambiguity. When people see Exxon now, only Exxon Oil Company appears in their minds because Exxon has no other meaning but Exxon Oil Company and it is easy to be distinguished. This example shows some features of brand names such as conciseness, identification and novelty.
In the following part, the author will discuss features of brand names. 2. 1 Features of Brand Name: Conciseness, Identification and Novelt y Brand name helps consumers to distinguish its products or services from others’, therefore it must be so easy to be recognized that people are likely to notice its products among products of the same kind, in other words, brand name must be concise and distinctive. Identification helps people to be aware of differences between different products.
For example, brand names of mobile products of Apple Company include iPhone, iPad, iPod and iTouch and the company plans to produce a television called iTV. It is easy to recognize products of Apple Company because their brand names begin with the letter I, and even some people think of Apple Company when they see any sign beginning with the letter I. Brand name should be short because it is hard to be remembered if it is too long. It is undeniable that a long brand name leave people deep impression, but they can hardly distinguish it from similar ones.
Because some shorter ones are imitated, for instance Hike imitates Nike and Kuma imitates Puma, let alone longer ones. Brand names are supposed to leave people deep impression as long as possible and some particular brand names always appear in their mind when they want to buy something. Novelty is a feature of brand name and it can not only avoid ambiguity just as the example of Exxon shows but also offer 4 people pleasant feeling and fresh impression. Nokia adopts Lumia as its next series of Window Phone because Lumia is easy to be pronounced in all languages and has no negative meaning in any culture. . 2 Functions of Brand Name As mentioned above, brand names are concise and novelty, as a way of identification. Those features are met to suit the functions of brands. 2. 2. 1 Informative Function Brand name is directly linked to product, showing people their features. But brand name usually shows only one of their features of product because it is short. Some brand names come from the location or the main founder of company. For example, BMW, the world-famous automobile brand, is the abbreviation of Bavarian Motor Works, which shows that the company is located in Bavaria.
Nokia, one of the largest handset manufacturers in the world, is just the name of the small town in Finland where the company was created in 1865. Goodyear, the third largest tire maker, is named after Charles Goodyear, the inventor of vulcanized rubber. Sennheiser, the famous audio equipment manufacturer, is named after its founder, Fritz Sennheiser. Some others show the quality or the cultural meaning of product such as the effect of products and the goal of purchase.
For example, Lux, a soap brand name owned by Unilever, stresses the effect of the soap, which lusters the skin, because the letter lux shares the same root word with the letter luster and it is the unit of illuminance. Pampers, the most famous brand of baby diapers owned by P;G, reflects the love from parents to children. These brands named after people and location have little cultural meaning and they just show the history or information of company. But others are created on the base of culture and their results of translation are meaningless if they are transmitted without the ground of culture. . 2. 2 Stimulating Consumption When a company launches new products, it must consider and identify target 5 customers to meet the particular need of them because people of different ages, nations and genders have various needs and preference. Even for the same kind of goods, for example mobile phone, different people have different needs. Females usually focus on the appearance, elders prefer to long standby time and teenagers intend to pursue high-end configuration and more functions. Thus, with the limit of cost, new products should highlight their different advantages.
Similarly, brand names should also cater to target customers to stimulate consumption. Brand names of automobile should reflect the pursuit of speed or safety, for example, the letter Rover in Land Rover, an automobile manufacturer that specialize all-terrain vehicles, is the name of an ancient Nordic nation, representing bravery and riding waives. Volvo is a world-famous automobile manufacturer too and its brand name means rotating wheels, representing moving forward. However, cosmetic brand name should leave people, especially women, feelings of beauty and youth.
People always imagine refreshing and cleanliness when they use products of Clean-Clear, and another brand name, Biotherm, shows perfect combination of human and nature, because bio represents human life and therm mineral springs. 2. 3 Common Methods of Brand Name Translation There are some common methods of brand name translation, including transliteration, literal translation, free translation and mixed translation. “Transliteration is a method which is used often. It refers to write a word, sentence, etc. n the alphabet of a different language on writing system”(Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 2136) Many companies adopt transliteration because it can keep the pronunciation and exotic flavor of the original form closely. Some of brand names that adopt transliteration are Nokia as ??? , Motorola as ???? and Adidas as ????. Literal translation is the rendering of text from one language to another word-for-word and it expresses the meaning of words or characters of brand name. Therefore, literal translation is the most common because it convey message of brand name directly and keep fidelity of brand name.
Apple as ?? , Blackberry as ? 6 ?, and Red Bull as ?? apply literal translation. “Free translation reproduces the matter without the manner or the content without the form of the original. Usually it is a paraphrase much longer than the original”(Newmark 46). This method maintains the original meaning and achieves fluent and natural expression in TT, but it sacrifices the original form. Free translation has advantages in expressing functions and effects of products and in arousing identification of customers. For instance, Whisper as ? ?? belongs to this method.
Mixed translation combines transliteration with literal translation to preserve similarity of meaning and pronunciation. For example, Safeguard as ??? and Head ; Shoulders as ???. 2. 4 Difficulties in Translating Brand Names The above part presents features of brand name, including conciseness, identification and novelty. When international companies sell their products or services in a foreign country, they usually translate their brand names into the local language because these foreigners are unfamiliar with products or brand names in foreign languages. Thus it is necessary to translate brand names.
But translating br and names is more difficult than creating a new brand name because translation not only conforms to these features but also faces the difference of culture. The difference of culture has existed since the beginning of translation. Unlike translation of article, which can explain cultural differences by annotation, translation of brand name has no room for annotation because brand name must be short. Therefore translation of brand name always loses a part of information of the original form such as pronunciation, form and cultural meaning. For example, in China, Lux is translated as ?? which only maintains pronunciation but has nothing to do with effects of product, therefore Chinese customers are unlikely to feel effects of product when they see this Chinese brand name. Like the translation of Lux, that of other brand names usually keeps pronunciation but neglects the cultural meaning. But it is true that some translators abandon cultural meanings deliberately to avoid conflict of culture because of special cultural preference and taboo. Arabs disfavor panda traditionally because panda looks like pig that Allah forbids Islamists to eat in the Quran. In western culture, peacock is 7 greedy and evil animal just as Lord Shen, who is a white peacock and the main villain in Kung Fu Panda 2, therefore peacock should not appear in brand names in western countries. In order to solve problems of the translation of brand names, translators have sought many translation strategies such as homophonic pun, transliteration and paraphrase, and a new concept of translation strategy has appeared since the beginning of 21st century. In the following part, the author will introduce this new concept, zero translation. Chapter 3 Introduction to Zero Translation 3. 1 The Concept of Zero Translation
The concept of zero translation was mentioned firstly by Professor Qiu Maoru in 2001. In his article Translatability and Zero Translation, published in Chinese Translators Journal, Professor Qiu brought forward the new item, zero translation. In order to explain this item, he pointed out that zero translation meant translating words in SL without using the ready-existing words in TL and classified it into two kinds. The first one is translating with a deliberate omission of words in SL and the other one is translating without using the ready-existing words in TL. The first kind is used to olve problems of lexical and syntactical differences between two languages and it is called Omission by Zhang Peiji in A Course in English-Chinese Translation. But there is no lexical or syntactical problem in brand name translation because of the limit of length. The other kind includes transference and transliteration. Transliteration maps the sounds of source language to the best matching script of goal language, meaning English words are translated into Chinese characters and they have phonetic connection. Transference is a translation technique that employs foreign words directly in goal language.
Professor Qiu thinks that both transliteration and transference belong to zero translation because they use no ready-existing words of TL. In 2001, Liu Mingdong further studied zero translation on the base of result of study of Professor Qiu. Liu divided zero translation into two kinds, absolute and relative zero translation. Absolute zero translation is to use foreign words directly 8 without any change. Both transference and ellipsis belong to this kind. The other kind is to translate original words by using words or characters of goal language with artful change. It contains transliteration, sound-meaning combination translation, complementary translation, image translation and literal translation with notes and adaptation” (Liu 30) Liu realized that it was difficult to find an equal script of TL for all translation actions and that adopting zero translation is unavoidable. Although many scholars have proposed their own opinions on zero translation and had a heated discussion since the appearance of zero translation, widely accepted methods of zero translation contain transference, transliteration, sound-meaning translation and complementary translation. . 2 The Difference between Zero Translation and Non-translation Zero translation is different from non-translation, which is presented by Du Zhengming. He thinks that non-translation was opposite to translation. Defining zero translation as non-translation, Du stresses that the aim of translation is to convey meaning of original content and transliteration is not a method of translation because transliteration hardly expresses original meaning in TL. In his view, employing the original form of SL without any change belongs to non-translation too.
But his viewpoint is not accepted widely. The discussion of zero translation and non-translation refers to that of translatability and untranslatability, which has been debated since May Fourth Movement. Proponents of translatability acknowledge difficulties in translation as the result of cultural differences, but such difficulties can be solved by translators. The task of translator is to achieve better effect of translation by exploring new translation strategies. The idea of proponents of untranslatability is opposite.
They emphasize the incommensurability between languages, which means that the information of one language cannot be conveyed fully in another language. What is more difficult than the incommensurability between languages for translators is the incommensurability on culture level and the latter one embodies in the former. They overemphasize deficiency and the uselessness of translation. But they absolutize the cultural 9 difference and something special in one language. Changing and reforming special information in SL are common in practice of translation and such information is only a small part of the context of SL.
The fact of translation history for thousands years also refutes the untranslatability. From the above introduction, it is clear that zero translation is different from non-translation because non-translation negates the aim of translation and the practice of translators but zero translation is an effective strategy to cope with untranslatability. In Zero Translation vs. untranslatability: On Essence of Zero Translation, Luo Guoqing stated that untranslatability was paradox and pseudoproposition. “Translation is cross-linguistic and bidirectional communication.
Translators have ability to lead readers into the culture of SL to cognize the item of SL, which is progressive and respective sense of zero translation. “(Luo 120) In the age of information explosion, workload of translators has increased sharply and they are likely to face more untranslatable items. In such situation, zero translation is a good solution because it can not only prove efficiency but also realize communicational function. Zero translation approaches the original form with no or little change and provides better understanding of cultural meaning of SL for readers than traditional methods do. . 3 Usage of Zero Translation Before the concept of zero translation was proposed, its methods had been adopted in translation of, especially, proper names, abbreviation and words with special cultural meaning. Now, the writer is going to provide some examples of zero translation. 3. 3. 1 Translation of Proper Names Proper names include people’s name, place name, terms and abbreviation. Because of differences of pronunciation and writing system, proper names are more difficult to translate than other words. In TL, there always is no equal part corresponding to words of SL.
But they are the most active part of language, thus they 10 will be communication obstacles if they are not translated. The translation of proper names, which should consider SL and keep accuracy, often adopts transference, transliteration and complementary translation. The following part will discuss the translation of people’s name, place name, terms and abbreviation. Terms are professional words in particular areas with characteristics of time and profession. Because their meanings changed with the development of their own areas, translation of them must be accurate and zero translation is the best way to translate them.
Examples of transference are DNA, SARS, USB and GPS, and those of transliteration include clone as ?? , gene as ?? and Hertz as ??. Although these examples look simple, zero translation manages to meet terms’ requirement of accuracy and standardization. In Zero Translation: Translation Strategy of Standardization of Scientific and Technological Terms, Wang Juxiang and Sang Yuanwei concluded that standardization of scientific and technological terms are translated most precisely by zero translation. (Sang, and Wang 35) People’s name and place name contain obvious cultural identity.
Place name often indicates geographic feature, products and history of the place. In the past, Chinese names were transliterated on the base of Wade-Giles romanization, which was invented by Thomas Francis Wade, a British diplomat. But the accuracy of Wade-Giles system has weaknesses, for example Peking as ?? and Chingtao as ? ? . With development of Standardization, people’s name and place name are transliterated on the base of Pinyin such as Beijing as ??. Many translations have been fixed and some of them are Tom as ?? , Alice as ??? , London as ??.
Because of cultural permeation, it is common for people to speak original names without any translation to express their friendliness. Most names are transliterated but some adopt sound-meaning translation, for example Cambridge as ?? and New Delhi as ???. Such diversification of translation means that translation of name is becoming less strict and the world more open and inclusive. 3. 3. 2 Translation of Abbreviation An abbreviation is “a short form of a word or expression. “( Longman Dictionary 11 of Contemporary English 3) Usually, but not always, it consists of a letter or group of letters taken from the word or phrase.
It is convenient for people to read and write. For example, people usually do not speak or write Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries but its abbreviation, OPEC. Such words have clear meaning but are too long for communication. They are created with social and scientific progress to meet the need of communication and have been widespread. Such words include ATM, NBA, GDP and VIP, etc. People can translate every word of original form into Chinese characters and results of such translation are correct, but these translations are still too long, for instance ??????? , ?????? , ??????.
Therefore most abbreviations are transferred and some abbreviations are transliterated. Table 1 Translation of Abbreviation Abbreviati Original Form Translation on Zero Method Translation OPEC Organization of Petroleum ??????? Transference ??? Exporting Countries OPEC Transliteration WTO World Trade Organization ?????? WTO Transference WHO World Health Organization ?????? WHO Transference CEO Chief Executive Officer ????? CEO Transference GDP Gross Domestic Product ?????? GDP Transference TOEFL Transference TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language DNA Deoxyribonucleic Acid ? ??????? ???????? ?? Transliteration ????? DNA Transference 3. 3. 3 Translation of Words with Cultural Meaning Zero translation is an effective strategy to translate words with unique cultural meaning. Such words, created in the history and tradition of particular group of people, have obvious features of area, history and nation. They are difficult for 12 translators because there is no equal part in TL. For example, people of TL cannot have the same feeling of people of SL when they read or hear Avatar because, in culture of TL, there is no such a god or person like avatar. Thus it is better to adopt transliteration to solve this problem.
In translating ancient poems, it is difficult to translate traditional musical instruments such as ??. This unique instrument always leaves people deep beautiful impression of young women. If it is translated as violin or other western instrument, foreign readers are likely to have incorrect feelings. Thus it is better to translate it as pipa by pinyin. The study of zero translation needs theoretic support. In the following part, the writer is going to analyze zero translation under functionalist theory. Chapter 4 Introduction to Functionalist Translation Theory
Traditional translation theories focus on equivalence of text, which means the transmission of message, but neglect functions of translation such as cultural communication. Nida’s theory of dynamic equivalence and that of functional equivalence break the limit of traditional translation theories, but they are inadequate to process cultural elements in ST. In 1970s, functionalist translation theory appeared in Germany and flourished. It deemphasizes the equivalence of text, puts translation action into cross-cultural communication and considers function of translation as the core of theory.
There are four people making great contributions to functionalist theory. They are Katharina Reiss, Hans Vermeer, Justa HolzManttari and Christiane Nord. This part is going to introduce their studies. 4. 1 Katharina Reiss Reiss proposed a model of translation assessment based on functional relationship between ST and TT in the book Possibilities and Limits of Translation Criticism. She points out that function of text should be a criterion of translation criticism. Her theory adheres to equivalence-based theory and advocates that the ideal translation is the achievement of equivalence of content, language form and 13 ommunicative function. But in practice it is impossible to achieve such equivalence. She is aware of the fact that not all functions of TT are the same as those of ST, and the form of TT is unnecessary to be same as that of ST, which means translation action does not need to achieve equivalence in traditional theories. Thus the function of translation is more important than equivalence. Translation criticism should depend on the circumstance of text, not on the analysis of features of original text, which takes precedence over traditional theories.
She thinks that a text has many functions but only one is dominant and this one controls the whole translation action. The judge of text type helps translators to determine the level of equivalence that should be achieved and to select the proper translation strategy. Reiss divides text types into three kinds, informative text, expressive text and operative text. Brand name belongs to the last kind whose purpose is to lead readers to act in a certain way. “Therefore, both the content and form are subordinate to the extralinguistic effect that the text is designed to achieve.
Operative text translation should be guided by the overall aim of bringing about the same reaction in the audience. “(Zhang 10) 4. 2 Hans Vermeer Vermeer put forward the most important theory of functionalist theory, Skopos Theory. Skopos is a Greek word, meaning aim or purpose. He thinks that translation, like other human actions, has particular purpose, which is the core of the whole action of translating. Just as his teacher, Reiss, does, he considers that the purpose of translation determines which method should be used. ‘Skopos theory’ focuses above all on the purpose of translation, which determines translation methods and strategies that are to be employed in order to produce a functionally adequate result”(Mundy 97). Skopos theory has three rules, the skopos rule, the coherence rule and the fidelity rule. The skopos rule means the result of translation enables translation of text to realize its functions in the situation it is applied and with people who use it. In other words, the aim of translation determines the action of translation and the result of 14 translation decides selected strategy.
The coherence rule, also called intratextual coherence, means that TT must be natural and fluent in TL and be understood by receivers, given the culture and circumstance of them. TT is the transmission of ST, and the content of TT must bear relationship with that of ST. Such relationship is called fidelity. From the above introduction to skopos theory, it is clear that the most element of translation action is addressee. Because receivers’ culture, knowledge and needs determine the method and the strategy of translation. The three rules should be applied in zero translation of brand name.
The aim of brand name translation is to keep the flavor of brand name in ST, which is the first rule. The second rule is to make the result of translation acceptable and understandable in culture of TL. The last one, the fidelity rule, preserves features of original brand name as many as possible. Therefore zero translation of brand name must adhere to the three rules. 4. 3 Justa Holz Manttari Manttari further develops functionalist theory and expands the area in which functionalist theory is adoptable. In her theory, translational action is regarded as a complex action designed to meet particular needs.
Translation, driven by purpose, is to transfer message with cross-cultural communication. She mainly studies translational action, roles in such action and circumstance in which translational action occurred. 4. 4 Christiane Nord Nord firstly systematizes functionalist approaches and introduces functionalist translation theory comprehensively in her book Translating as a Purposeful Activity: Functionalist Approaches Explained in 1997. She agrees with the above three scholars’ theories and creates her own theory, function plus loyalty. In her opinion, translators would abandon useless part of ST after they clarify the purpose of translation.
She stresses the importance of ST and thinks that translators should be responsible for ST writers, TT addressees and initiators, and such responsibility is 15 loyalty. Loyalty is different from fidelity because fidelity is just the relationship between ST and TT but loyalty is interpersonal relationship among translators, ST writers, TT addressees and initiators. Besides purpose of translation, translators have to reach a balance among other groups. TT must achieve the purpose of translation such as cultural communication and satisfy ST writers, TT addressees and initiators as much as possible. . 5 Zero Translation of Brand Name in the Light of Functionalist Theory According to functionalist translation theory, translation is a purposeful action and different text determines different translation strategy and criteria. Breaking through traditional translation theory, functionalist translation theory emphasizes the importance of function in evaluation and action of translation. In translating brand name, “it is essential that in the target language the same effect be achieved as the original in the source language”(Reiss 41).
As a new kind of translation method, zero translation can achieve functional equivalence furthest. Functions of brand name are transferring information of products and stimulating consumption. Translation of brand name must realize those functions of original brand name. In other words, translation of brand name helps people of TL to understand and accept products by transferring features of products and meaning of original brand name across cultural boundary and to persuade potential consumers to make a purchase. Zero translation is an effective method to translate brand name for following advantages.
Zero translation transmits information of brand name with no loss or least loss of original form. It leaves customers of TL the same feelings as SL people have by lead TL customers to understand meaning of brand name in the circumstance of SL. Thus zero translation can preserve functions of SL brand name as much as possible. Another advantage is identification. Because zero translation keeps the form or the pronunciation of brand name in SL, it is easy to avoid confusion. For example, Windows, an operating system developed by Microsoft, once was translated as ?? , but its owner was unwilling to use this translation because ? was likely to mislead Chinese users to consider it as an operating system developed by domestic 16 companies, and customers lost original user experience and feelings. Therefore Microsoft insisted on transferring Windows in China. The next chapter is going to provide some examples of electronic products to prove the applicability of main methods of zero translation such as transference, transliteration and complementary translation. Chapter 5 Zero Translation of Brand Name of Electronic Products People’s lifestyle and working pattern has been changed by electronic products including computer, digital camera and mobile phone, etc.
These products bring about convenience and have been necessities for most people. In recent decades, many international companies produce and sell their electronic products in China. In order to compete with domestic products, those international companies apply different translation methods to make their brand names acceptable in China. Some Chinese intend to buy products of foreign brand names because these products signify wealth and taste. In such situations, zero translation keeps form and pronunciation more completely than other translation strategies.
The writer finds that zero translation is common in translating brand names of electronic products because zero translation preserves the original flavor of brand name and wins customers’ favor. Transliteration is often applied to translate brand names, which are easy to be pronounced in Chinese and others are translated by transference and complementary translation. 5. 1 Transliteration Many foreign companies are named after its founder or the place where it was founded, and their meanings make no sense in Chinese culture. It is difficult and useless to transmit meaning of those brand names.
Therefore transliteration is the best method if their phonetic symbols are similar with pronunciation of Chinese characters. Dell ?? and Nokia ??? belong to this kind. Some brand names reflect the history of company. For example Motorola ???? 17 is the combination of “motor” and rola. Motor means the company produced cars and rola is the suffix of Victrola, the name of predecessor of Motorola. The literal meaning of such brand name will not help people of TL accept its product because of the lack of cultural ground. It is better to transliterate them to keep the pronunciation.
Transliteration is also applied to translate brand name with special meaning. The former name of Sony Corporation was Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation, but it was too long. In 1958, the former name was changed to Sony. The Sony name was created by combining sonus, the original Latin for sonic, meaning sound, with sonny, denoting small size, or a youthful boy. It was chosen for its simple pronunciation th at is the same in any language. The feature of Sony is conciseness and its meaning. But if translators want to express its meaning, TT will be too long and lose its feature.
In China, it is transliterated to ? ? , which preserves the conciseness and the pronunciation of Sony. The writer will list more examples of brand name of electronic products. Table 2 Transliteration of Brand Name Brand Name Transliteration Canon ?? Nikon ?? Olympus ???? Casio ??? Leica ?? Philips ??? Alcatel ???? Semheiser ???? Shure ?? 5. 2 Transference Some brand names are difficult to transliteration because of the difference of pronunciation between two languages and to translate their literal meaning with the 18 limit of length or the lack of original feelings.
For this kind of brand name, the best translation method is transference. Thinkpad, created by staff of IBM, combines think with pad. The pad is the notepaper used in IBM and the letter think is IBM’s motto printed on the top of the note paper. Because the literal meaning of Thinkpad is ?? ?, which makes no sense in China, it is better to keep its original form. Like the translation of Thinkpad, transference is also applied in translating Android, a mobile operation system developed by Google, Shuffle, a MP3 player produced by Apple, Nexus, a mobile phone designed by Google, and Palm, a mobile phone producer. . 3 Complementary Translation “Complementary translation in brand name translation is a method by which translated brand name is not only homophonic with the original, but also has specific meaning. ” (Zhang 27) It keeps phonetic feature of brand name and change the form of TT with artful skills. For example, the translation of Galaxy, a series of mobile phone designed by Samsung, is ??. The literal translation of Galaxy is ?? , but it cannot express its top status among mobile phones as ?? does. The writer collects fifty foreign brand names of electronic products and analyzes their translation methods.
Here is the result of the survey. Table 3 Result of a Survey on Methods of Brand Name Translation Translation Transference Transliteration Number Percentage Literal Free Mixed translation method Complementary translation translation translation 7 24 5 3 5 6 14% 48% 10% 6% 10% 12% Zero translation 72% 19 Conclusion In this thesis, zero translation is divided into two kinds, absolute zero translation and relative zero translation, like Liu Mingdong’s classification, but the former one is transference and the latter covers transliteration and complementary translation.
The item, zero translation was brought about following the concept of untranslatability, which is undeniable to some degree because of the difference between culture of SL and TL. The aim of zero translation is to express effects of product and information pf producer in the culture of SL without any loss and zero translation is better than other translation strategy because it shows the cultural meaning in the form of SL. Zero translation focuses on the purpose of translation without the emphasis on equivalence of content, therefore zero translation corresponds the functionalist theory.
By analyzing these examples of brand names of electronic products, this thesis proves that zero translation succeeded in meeting requirements of brand translation, thus zero translation is an applicable method in brand translation. 20 Reference 1. Du, Zhengming. [??? ], ??? , ?? , ??????????? ????? ???? (? )2000. ?????. ?? : ????????? ?, 2000 2. Holz-Manttari, Justa. Translational Action: Theory and Method. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, 1984 3. Liu, Mingdong. [ ??? ], ? ???? . ? ????? , 2002,(1): 29-32 4. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.
Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Researching Press, 2004 5. Luo, Guoqing. [??? ]. ??????? :??????. ???? , 2011,(2): 116-120 6. Mundy, Jeremy. Introducing Translation Studies Theories and Applications. London and New York: Routlege 2001 7. Newmark, Peter. A textbook of Translation. Shanghai: Foreign Language Teaching and Researching Press, 2001 8. Nord, Christiane. Translating as a PurposefulActivity-Functionalist Approaches Explained. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, 2001 9. Qiu, Maoru. [ ??? ], ? ?????? . ? ????? , 2001,(1): 24-27 10.
Reiss, Katharina. Translation Criticism: The Potentials and Limitations. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, 2004 11. Sang, Yuanwei; Wang, Juxiang. [???? ??? ], ??? :????? ??? “?? ”??. ?????? , 2006(2): 32-35 12. Vermeer, Hans J. Skopos and Translation Commission. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, 2000 13. Zhang, Mengya. [??? ], “??????????????? “, ? 21 ????? , 2009 22 Acknowledgements First and foremost, I would like to show my deepest gratitude to my tutor, Professor Liu Shizhu, who is a devoted, professional, resourceful scholar.
He has helped me in more than one way during my college study as well as in my thesis writing. He lights the way for me. Thanks to his inspirational ideas, I chose translation of brand name as the thesis theme. In the writing process, he helped me with encouragements and guidance. I should say that without his help, there is no chance that this thesis would be present. In the second place, I would like to thank my family for their care and support for me. There is nothing more valuable to me than the love from family members.
I still remember the day when I got stuck on writing the thesis; it is my father’s words encouraged me to look ahead. I should thank my mother for her delicious dishes and I owe a lot to my grandfather. My family has taught me to be a decent person, a person values honor and cares for others. Last but not least, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all those who have helped me make this thesis possible and better. My lovely friends, my cheerful roommates, and the girl I want to spend my life with. They all help me, on the thesis or in my life. 23 24