Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
cosmetics and bilingual marketing
Thread poster: Susana Galilea
Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 8, 2003

Dear all,

I have been doing a fair amount of work in the field of cosmetics, and I am curious as to how fellow translators handle the names of colors/shades (e.g. for a lipstick or eyeshadow). Most of the work I do is for the Spanish-speaking market in the U.S., and looking at products in stores I have noticed often the name of the color will be left in English followed by the name translated in French and/or Spanish. This would make sense to me, as often the name in English will not have a straight translation, and keeping the original name is a way to avoid confusion as to the specific color being referred to. By that I mean there is only one way to translate "blue", but many ways to translate something like "prairie bliss" (name made up). In order to keep names translated consistently, a glossary of names seems very much in order.

I am curious as to how others handle this specific issue.

Thanks much!

Susana Galilea
Accredited Translator, EUTI
sgalilea@ispwest.com
www.accentonspanish.com


[Edited at 2003-12-08 19:27]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

mónica alfonso  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not much cosmetics tranx Dec 8, 2003

But in some cases (cars and PC hardware, for ex.) I have translated color names literally (at client's request, of course).
I usually buy a cosmetics brand here in Argentina which does not have any translation at all for colors (R.vl.n).
I have seen some 'descriptive names' for colors translated, but I have never seen the source and the translation used at the same time.
Hope this helps you.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:13
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
That could depend Dec 8, 2003

I handled a French cosmetic line's launching in England, and the French original was very suggestive of its translation. It simply slipped into an "English skin".

Where the French was familiar and sounded so much more chic, anyway, it stayed.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
asun
Spain
Local time: 02:13
Spanish to French
+ ...
IT DEPENDS... Dec 8, 2003

Susana Galilea wrote:
In order to keep names translated consistently, a glossary of names seems very much in order.

I am curious as to how others handle this specific issue.



In cosmetics, it depends of how glamourous the product wants to be.
And as you know, french is the language of glamour, and blue is quite like bleu but so different than AZUL...
I worked for three years on a cosmetic labo and most of the products names were in english, generally for body and face lines,
and in french for coulour lines.
Spanish is passion, but not glamour ( for cosmetics, al least...)


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 02:13
English to Czech
+ ...
AVON Dec 8, 2003

In Czech Avon catalogues and on Avon products, they always keep the colors in English only. They don't translate even the basic colors. (But the color is always visible in the catalogue.)

Here is an example:
http://katalog.avoncosmetics.cz/index.php?www=catalog_detail&id_product_group=2586


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
Translators giving their blesssing to non-translation Dec 8, 2003

When translating into French for Québec/Canada, everything has to be translated, including color names. Otherwise, it looks like the translation has been botched up and people don't like it. But for France, it's a different matter: they apparently perceive English words as chic and modern.

Increasingly, companies are trying to do away with translations altogether. The most tolerant markets are prime targets for this trend. And the translators that go along with it are the most likely to find themselves destroying their own business by letting on that it doesn't matter if more and more words are left in English.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 02:13
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
As a consumer.. Dec 8, 2003

I hate to read labels where every second word is in a different language - even if I can understand most of it. I can't help thinking that the translator was just lazy or unqualified and unable to come up with a good expression. It's a real nighmare with cosmetic labels and food product as well - they usually leave names of less popular spices in English, frequently with funny spelling which makes me thinking that manufacturers don't want to tell what's inside!
If you decide to leave anything in English, consider how it will be pronounced in your target language: sometimes the marketing effect is destroyed by the simple fact that people cannot pronounce it (like 'prairie bliss' in Polish

HTH
Magda


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:43
English to Tamil
+ ...
Use RAL numbers wherever possible Dec 9, 2003

Each color has a RAL No. If a given color's RAL number is not known, you can always check in Google. Search for color name +RAL. You are sure to get the detail you want. Suppose you are translating from English to German, after the getting the RAL number for the color mentioned in English, go to google.de and search for the RAL number in question, asking for German sites only. You will get the German color name as well. Hope this helps.
Regards,
N.Ragahvan


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
interesting viewpoint... Dec 9, 2003

Esther Pfeffer wrote:
And the translators that go along with it are the most likely to find themselves destroying their own business by letting on that it doesn't matter if more and more words are left in English.


Surely this is something to keep in mind

My concern has to do with consistency mostly, as I may be translating promotional brochures where the names of new colors are being announced, and a different translator may be translating the names that actually appear in the packaging of the actual product. It is easy to end up with Spanish names that do not match, which I imagine is why often color names are left untranslated.

It seems to me the translation of colors/shades should be done as a separate step before any of the marketing materials are translated, that way there would be a list to refer to for consistency at every step.

Thanks for all your feedback.

S.G.


[Edited at 2003-12-09 01:55]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
Color Names and Consistency Dec 9, 2003

[quote]Susana Galilea wrote:


My concern has to do with consistency mostly, as I may be translating promotional brochures where the names of new colors are being announced, and a different translator may be translating the names that actually appear in the packaging of the actual product. It is easy to end up with Spanish names that do not match, which I imagine is why often color names are left untranslated.

It seems to me the translation of colors/shades should be done as a separate step before any of the marketing materials are translated, that way there would be a list to refer to for consistency at every step.


I understand the problem because I have one client that has dozens of shades. Moreover, I translate everything for their professional products but someone else does their mass market line (it's apparently a separate division), so they might end up with two different French color names for each English color name. I simply do my best and let the client deal with the consistency problem.

One day, after about 2 years with that client, I was sent an Excel file to edit: it was all their shade names! So, you see, they had come up with a solution... The other lesson in this is that the client is still with me, no matter what color names I choose.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 20:13
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Nice glossary Dec 9, 2003

Here you have a nice glossary, maybe not useful, but...interesting.
Color Names in - English - Czech - Hungarian - French - German - Spanish

http://www.main.cz/colors/color_names.htm


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
interesting indeed... Dec 9, 2003

Claudia Iglesias wrote:
Here you have a nice glossary, maybe not useful, but...interesting.


Funny how Alice Blue becomes Blanco Alicia...

Thanks for the thread, Claudia. I am sure it may come in handy, if only to visualize a wide range of colors.

S.G.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
Cuisse de nymphe émue Dec 9, 2003

Claudia Iglesias wrote:

Here you have a nice glossary, maybe not useful, but...interesting.
Color Names in - English - Czech - Hungarian - French - German - Spanish

http://www.main.cz/colors/color_names.htm[/quote]

That's the surprising French name they give for hot pink -- rosa cálido in Spanish.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
ahem... Dec 9, 2003

Cuisse de nymphe émue? That's pretty racy

Although I doubt it gives anyone the slightest idea of what color they are referring to...

S.G.

[Edited at 2003-12-09 07:30]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
Czech speakers are tolerant Dec 9, 2003

Hynek Palatin wrote:

In Czech Avon catalogues and on Avon products, they always keep the colors in English only. They don't translate even the basic colors. (But the color is always visible in the catalogue.)

Here is an example:
http://katalog.avoncosmetics.cz/index.php?www=catalog_detail&id_product_group=2586


In the Avon Canada - French version, all colors are in French: http://www.avon.ca/html/conseils/conseils.php?lang=fra

If they keep them in English for your market, it's because they have determined that Czech speakers don't mind.

Sometimes I do cultural & linguistic consulting for companies wanting to introduce products in the French-speaking Canadian market. If they propose to keep something in English, I tell them what kind of problems they're likely to encounter -- not that I want to be negative, but that's exactly what they pay me for. I guess when similar consulting is done for the Czech market, the consultants say it's OK, people will just accept it as a fact of life.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Maria Castro[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

cosmetics and bilingual marketing

Advanced search


Translation news





memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs