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Would you please fill in a short questionnaire for me?
Thread poster: chinajennifer
chinajennifer
Local time: 23:39
English to Chinese
Jan 8, 2007

Hello, I am a Chinese college student majoring in translation studies. I am working on my BA thesis, which is about idiomatic Chinese-English advertising translation. To evaluate the quality of such translations, I need the views and opinions of native English speakers on the translations of ads of popular Chinese products. I would appreciate it very much if you could help me by filling in the following questionnaire.

This questionnaire is designed for the evaluation of the idiomaticity of advertisements translated from Chinese into English. Please read the following two English versions of a Chinese ad and answer the questions below (choose either A or B). All the data collected will be highly confidential and will be used for the research only.

English translation A:

Our new product, The Cereal Way Healthy Instant Noodles, uses only the best quality wheat together with our special air-dried technology and special processing equipment, to avoid producing unhealthy substances and to avoid destroying natural nutrients.

The noodles not only retain all the natural nutrients such as vitamins, proteins and minerals due to our air-dried technology, but they also taste smooth and delicious. Therefore, the Cereal Way Noodles is the new wave of healthy food loved by all and has made itself a national brand which has won lots of awards.

English translation B:

Instant noodles can be healthy, too. Air-dried and free from artificial colors, The Cereal Way is high in natural nutrients and low in saturated fat.

With The Cereal Way, there is a real healthy way to feast in a hurry.

(The Cereal Way Instant Noodles is recommended by the Public Nutrition and Development Center of China.)

Questions:
1. Do you think the two versions contain almost the same amount of relevant information?
A. Yes B. No

2. Which version do you think is clearer and easier to read?
A. Translation A B. Translation B

3. Which one reads more natural as an English ad?
A. Translation A B. Translation B

4. Which one do you think has better logic?
A. Translation A B. Translation B

5. Which one do you think is more appealing and persuasive?
A. Translation A B. Translation B

The original Chinese text:
五谷道场健康速食面,精选优质小麦,采用独有的非油炸专有技术和设备,避免了油炸方便面因高温油炸而产生的有害物质和营养物的破坏及流失。
五谷道场非油炸工艺不仅保留了原粮天然的营养及风味,使其富含维生素、蛋白质、矿物质等,而且面条色泽透亮、口感细腻爽滑,是深受广大消费者喜爱、老少皆宜的新一代速食产品,全国知名,并荣获多种奖项。

Answers: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Now you have finished the questionnaire. Thank you very much for your time and effort!


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Brandon Wood  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 00:39
Japanese to English
+ ...
Answers Jan 8, 2007

1. Do you think the two versions contain almost the same amount of relevant information?
A. Yes

2. Which version do you think is clearer and easier to read?
B. Translation B

3. Which one reads more natural as an English ad?
B. Translation B

4. Which one do you think has better logic?
B. Translation B

5. Which one do you think is more appealing and persuasive?
B. Translation B


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Eva Blanar  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 17:39
English to Hungarian
+ ...
If you want to sell those noodles... Jan 8, 2007

... go for B!

I don't speak Chinese, but as a consumer, I lost all my interest in the stuff somewhere at the middle of the first line of Translation A.

It may be that you do not pass a language exam with Translation B, but you can make a fortune with finding the right words and style for selling.

Best wishes to you thesis.


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avsie  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:39
English to French
+ ...
I agree Jan 8, 2007

Eva Blanar wrote:

... go for B!

I don't speak Chinese, but as a consumer, I lost all my interest in the stuff somewhere at the middle of the first line of Translation A.

It may be that you do not pass a language exam with Translation B, but you can make a fortune with finding the right words and style for selling.

Best wishes to you thesis.


I agree. I can't read Chinese, but text B is much easier to understand, and is straight to the point

Marie-Claude


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:39
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
B... Nobody will bother to read A ... Jan 8, 2007

My answers are the same as Brandon's of course.

Maybe the last sentence should read
(The Cereal Way Instant Noodles ARE recommended by the Public Nutrition and Development Center of China.)

-- we see noodles as plural.

But we regard translation A as a lecture and very quickly lose interest. Translation B sounds far more convincing!

Best of luck from me too!


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Alison High  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 17:39
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
I prefer A, but not as an Ad Jan 8, 2007

English translation A:

Our new product, The Cereal Way Healthy Instant Noodles, uses only the best quality wheat together with our special air-dried technology and special processing equipment, to avoid producing unhealthy substances and to avoid destroying natural nutrients.

The noodles not only retain all the natural nutrients such as vitamins, proteins and minerals due to our air-dried technology, but they also taste smooth and delicious. Therefore, the Cereal Way Noodles is the new wave of healthy food loved by all and has made itself a national brand which has won lots of awards.

English translation B:

Instant noodles can be healthy, too. Air-dried and free from artificial colors, The Cereal Way is high in natural nutrients and low in saturated fat.

With The Cereal Way, there is a real healthy way to feast in a hurry.

(The Cereal Way Instant Noodles is recommended by the Public Nutrition and Development Center of China.)

Questions:
1. Do you think the two versions contain almost the same amount of relevant information?
No

2. Which version do you think is clearer and easier to read?
B. Translation B

3. Which one reads more natural as an English ad?
B. Translation B

I'd query "ad" it reads more like the text on the packaging.
B is more punchy but gives the feeling we've been dropped in at the deep end... "too" = as well as so leads to the question "as well a what?"

4. Which one do you think has better logic?
B. Translation B

5. Which one do you think is more appealing and persuasive?
Can I say neither? Translation A reads as a text on the side of a cereal packet and Translation B sounds like a translation and not an original text. Neither appear either appealing or persuasive to me personally.



Comma comment:

The thing I don't like about text A is the commas... too many of them! Here's how I'd do the commas...

Our new product The Cereal Way Healthy Instant Noodles uses only the best quality wheat together with our special air-dried technology and special processing equipment to avoid producing unhealthy substances and to avoid destroying natural nutrients.

The noodles not only retain all the natural nutrients such as vitamins, proteins and minerals due to our air-dried technology but they also taste smooth and delicious. Therefore, the Cereal Way Noodles is the new wave of healthy food loved by all and has made itself a national brand which has won lots of awards.

.... and at school we were always told off about writing "lots of", but I'm diverging somewhat.

I'm a Brit, if that info can be of use to you.


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:39
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Questionnaire Jan 8, 2007

Answers

1. Do you think the two versions contain almost the same amount of relevant information?
A. Yes

2. Which version do you think is clearer and easier to read?
B. Translation B

3. Which one reads more natural as an English ad?
B. Translation B

4. Which one do you think has better logic?
B. Translation B

5. Which one do you think is more appealing and persuasive?
B. Translation B

In Suriname we get a lot of Chinese products with labels in English. They look and sound like A and they are not clear. They sound like literal translations and very awkward.

I would prefer B. It reads well and is more catchy.


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Dominika Lupa  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:39
English to Polish
+ ...
agree Jan 8, 2007

Lucinda wrote:

Answers

1. Do you think the two versions contain almost the same amount of relevant information?
A. Yes

2. Which version do you think is clearer and easier to read?
B. Translation B

3. Which one reads more natural as an English ad?
B. Translation B

4. Which one do you think has better logic?
B. Translation B

5. Which one do you think is more appealing and persuasive?
B. Translation B

In Suriname we get a lot of Chinese products with labels in English. They look and sound like A and they are not clear. They sound like literal translations and very awkward.

I would prefer B. It reads well and is more catchy.



I agree with the above ;]... The aim of ads is to be short and catchy, there is no point of making them wooordy (no one reads them then) and of 100% grammar correctiveness (as they would be boring).

good luck


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 18:39
Turkish to English
+ ...
My answers Jan 8, 2007

1:B
2:B
3:B
4:A
5:A
Although text B comes accross as being better written, I find that A gives me more information and treats me like an intelligent, informed consumer so it is actually more persuasive to me.


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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 17:39
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
My answers Jan 8, 2007

1 A
2 B
3 B
4 B
5 B

FWIW

Alison


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TrueBaller  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:39
Albanian to English
+ ...
My opinion and responses Jan 8, 2007

I think version B is easier to read and the information in it is easier "to digest". Go with B!

Here are my responses.

1. Do you think the two versions contain almost the same amount of relevant information?
A. Yes

2. Which version do you think is clearer and easier to read?
B. Translation B

3. Which one reads more natural as an English ad?
B. Translation B

4. Which one do you think has better logic?
B. Translation B

5. Which one do you think is more appealing and persuasive?
B. Translation B


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John Jory  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:39
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Just a thought Jan 8, 2007

I have zero knowledge of the Chinese language(s).
However, it might be worth considering a couple of points:

1) Does Chinese advertising copy tend to be in the style of text A?

2) Who is the target audience?

If the answer to 1) is yes, and the target audience is NOT Chinese, you should definitely use Text B.

Effective (Western) advertising copy should be short, keep to the essentials, and get the message across within less than 3 seconds.

This might be an interesting example of cultural differences in terms of advertising copy, but perhaps that's what your thesis is about

Much success, John


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trab
Local time: 11:39
Spanish to English
A marketing perspective Jan 8, 2007

chinajennifer wrote:

Hello, I am a Chinese college student majoring in translation studies. I am working on my BA thesis, which is about idiomatic Chinese-English advertising translation. To evaluate the quality of such translations, I need the views and opinions of native English speakers on the translations of ads of popular Chinese products. I would appreciate it very much if you could help me by filling in the following questionnaire.

This questionnaire is designed for the evaluation of the idiomaticity of advertisements translated from Chinese into English. Please read the following two English versions of a Chinese ad and answer the questions below (choose either A or B). All the data collected will be highly confidential and will be used for the research only.

English translation A:

Our new product, The Cereal Way Healthy Instant Noodles, uses only the best quality wheat together with our special air-dried technology and special processing equipment, to avoid producing unhealthy substances and to avoid destroying natural nutrients.

The noodles not only retain all the natural nutrients such as vitamins, proteins and minerals due to our air-dried technology, but they also taste smooth and delicious. Therefore, the Cereal Way Noodles is the new wave of healthy food loved by all and has made itself a national brand which has won lots of awards.

English translation B:

Instant noodles can be healthy, too. Air-dried and free from artificial colors, The Cereal Way is high in natural nutrients and low in saturated fat.

With The Cereal Way, there is a real healthy way to feast in a hurry.

(The Cereal Way Instant Noodles is recommended by the Public Nutrition and Development Center of China.)

Questions:
1. Do you think the two versions contain almost the same amount of relevant information?
A. Yes B. No

2. Which version do you think is clearer and easier to read?
A. Translation A B. Translation B

3. Which one reads more natural as an English ad?
A. Translation A B. Translation B

4. Which one do you think has better logic?
A. Translation A B. Translation B

5. Which one do you think is more appealing and persuasive?
A. Translation A B. Translation B

The original Chinese text:
五谷道场健康速食面,精选优质小麦,采用独有的非油炸专有技术和设备,避免了油炸方便面因高温油炸而产生的有害物质和营养物的破坏及流失。
五谷道场非油炸工艺不仅保留了原粮天然的营养及风味,使其富含维生素、蛋白质、矿物质等,而且面条色泽透亮、口感细腻爽滑,是深受广大消费者喜爱、老少皆宜的新一代速食产品,全国知名,并荣获多种奖项。

Answers: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Now you have finished the questionnaire. Thank you very much for your time and effort!


----
Translation A reads like American advertising copy of 70+ years ago. In other words before the consumer revolution. At the time, advertising really was about educating the consumer who didn't know what kinds of products were available and what their qualities were.

Thus advertising text was to modern eyes, very wordy.

As for translation B, John's questions are important. Particularly , the one about target audience. In my experience, having been involved a bit in marketing in the former Soviet Union and Poland, the experience of Western companies such as Coca-Cola was that using the most modern style of advertising in these markets really was not effective. The context and the associations just aren't the same.

Translation A is very much an appeal to authority that introduces Instant Noodles as a means of satisfying a particular need.

Translation B is actually an implied comparison in which the healthy Cereal Way Instant Noodles are implicitly compared to some other, presumably more unhealthy instant noodles. If my audience doesn't immediately recognize that comparison, Translation B won't be effective.

Which ad I would use as a marketer would depend on what kinds of noodles, instant and not, are currently on the market and what kind of perceptions people have about them.

While one would not use Translation A in a developed western market, so not the US or Australia, for example, in an undeveloped market, I might very well use it. It really depends on how much educating the consumer I had to do.

Liz Trabulsi MBA, Babson College, Wellesley, MA.


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chinajennifer
Local time: 23:39
English to Chinese
TOPIC STARTER
thank you very much Jan 9, 2007

Thank you all very much for your advice concerning my questionnaire. Since I know little about marketing (not to mention the Western market), I've not thought much about the problem of consumers. I think they would generally come from developed English speaking countries in North America, Europe and Oceania as well as English speaking people traveling in China. of all levels of education (maybe).

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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 17:39
French to Dutch
+ ...
Just some more thoughts Jan 9, 2007

I am not a native English speaker, but I translate lots of advertisements. A long time ago, a marketing man told me that in marketing material one should not use negative sentences, expressions that give a bad idea about the product or which have special associations. For him, words as "avoid", "destroy" and "unhealthy" belong certainly to this category. Is it a bad product? An advertisement should give consumers a good impression.

For non-English consumer of noodles translation A might be too complicated or too technical. Don't forget that not all products are localized in each exotic language and that we often have to read the English packaging.

Thirdly, food products for the European market should now contain information about allergy. Consumers know that and might ask themselves why it is not there.

[Edited at 2007-01-09 10:55]


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