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August 3, 2015

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Shall I compare thee to a summer's day...?

February 4, 2015

 

As advertisers in the Arab world, more particularly in a multicultural society such as Dubai, we are faced with the task of bridging the gap that exists between one language and another and between one culture and another in order to preserve the communicativeness of advertisements. Be it those to be translated and adapted for international brands across cultures, or local brands that need to reach a cross-section of consumers that are multicultural to say the least.

 

Armed with an understanding that communication varies to a certain degree between individuals within the same culture and the same society, within the same culture and language but within a different society, between different cultures and languages but with some shared similarities, and between different cultures and languages with no similarities at all; we find ourselves in a society that includes all the previously mentioned scenarios. Communication becomes more challenging as we are talking about people of completely different cultures, languages, environments and religious beliefs.

 

Without question, a standardization strategy of any international advertising campaign across cultures is unsuccessful in the case of Arabic and English. Not only because of the huge differences already existing between the two languages and cultures, but also because of the different strategies used by copywriters incorporating various elements of humor, irony, persuasion, taboos (sexual connotations), and sarcasm, which are aimed at particular audiences. The translation of the work is then determined by the understanding of the creative mind implementing the adaptation into the target language.  The translation of advertisements, involves not only interpreting dimensions of the text, but also an understanding of forms of communication within cultural contexts and how they produce meaning for it to be successful.

 

As a result localization of advertisements through dynamic translation, according to the characteristics of the local market will likely give the best results for successful cross-cultural advertising.