Translation of trademarks
Thread poster: José Raeiro

José Raeiro  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:56
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
Dec 19, 2008

Hi,

What do you think about the subject of trademark translation? E.g. when you have trademarks that are sentences that express something, like "Providers of Warm EnvironmentsTM".

Would you translate it? Would you maintain the source with the translation afterward within parentheses? What would you do? What do you think is the correct choice?

Thanks a million!

José Raeiro


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Andreia Santos
Portugal
Local time: 00:56
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Source Dec 19, 2008

Just the source because it is a registered mark.

Regards,

Andreia Santos


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:56
English to French
+ ...
It is a registered trademark Dec 20, 2008

Since the trademark is a registered name, you can't translate it. This means that it is always the registered name that needs to be used, no matter what language the context was written in.

The exception is when the owner of the trademark also registered translated versions, but that is pretty uncommon in my experience. I have yet to see the French equivalent of Just Do It. However, if you feel that leaving the trademark as is in the target text can be awkward to the target audience, then, it may be a good idea to let the client know that:

1. A registered trademark cannot be translated; and
2. They can translate the trademark and register that so they have a version in the target language - in many cases, it's a smart marketing move.

Sometimes, there already is a registered trademark in the target language, but they won't tell you because they assume you will translate the source trademark anyway, and that it will magically be the same as the official, registered one. You may want to ask if they have that.


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 06:56
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Objective of trademarks Dec 20, 2008

In my idea, trademark is something being conveyed to the readers for commercial/marketing purpose.
In certain situations, I just write the original trademark and add translation in a bracket etc.
Reason: to notify readers the exact meaning in the trademark---even without volating the legal rights of the original texts. And, I am not always good at translation of such marketing phrases!


Soonthon L.

[Edited at 2008-12-20 03:48 GMT]


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francop
Netherlands
Local time: 01:56
English to Italian
It is indeed possible to translate trademark Dec 20, 2008

every language has the corresponding translation and abbreviation symbol.
For instance in Itallian language it is written "Marchio registrato". (Mr). It stands for Registered brand.
It is an idea or invention considered to be a particular person's creation that is legally registered with the patent office or established by use as representing a company or product. The trademark symbol (TM) is just the means to convey this idea so that the trademarked product cannot be copied/reproduced without the specific written consent by the owner of the deposited trademark.
Rgds franco

[Edited at 2008-12-20 05:01 GMT]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:56
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
You leave it exactly as it is Dec 20, 2008

However, if the readers of the target text would be better informed by knowing what it means, you add a footnote, translating it.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:56
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Leave in English, suggest a translation in delivery email Dec 20, 2008

I agree with Viktoria. A translated trademark probably exists already if the company has a presence in the countries where the target country is spoken.

I would leave the trademark as is in the source language and, if you can't find the equivalent trademark (for instance checking their website in the target language if they have one), suggest a translation of the trademark in the delivery email, never inside the source document.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:56
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Leave TM or (R) as is Dec 21, 2008

but there are many ways of incorporating a translation (X, which means...)

Note: There may be cases in which the manufacturer or another authorized party may be intending to patent a localised trademark, you could also ask.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:56
English to French
+ ...
Leave TM and R as is? Dec 24, 2008

I disagree with leaving the trademark and registered trademark symbols as is. The reason is that, although these symbols are now widely understood in many cultures, they convey extremely important information which, if it is not understood by the audience, can lead to disaster. A typical example is when you don't translate the symbol, the audience doesn't know what TM means, they therefore don't know that the name is registered and not up for grabs, then they use that trademark and they either get sued for it or the translator is scolded, because it is his fault that the target audience was unaware that the name in question is a trademark.

Someone in a country where English is not omnipresent who sees the TM symbol may not know what it means. They may, however, understand its equivalent in their own language (and if they don't, well, shame on them). It is therefore not an option to use the English symbols in other languages - otherwise, how can you reasonably assume that the audience understands that that small string is in fact a trademark?

In French, the equivalent of TM is MC (marque de commerce), and the equivalent of R is MD (marque déposée).


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:56
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Another opinion, and one more strategy Dec 25, 2008

José Raeiro wrote:
What do you think about the subject of trademark translation? E.g. when you have trademarks that are sentences that express something, like "Providers of Warm EnvironmentsTM".


A trade mark is basically a name. Do you translate names?

One rarely translates names, but there are a few cases when you would do that. Just so there may be cases where you'd translate a trade name (eg if the intended reader is in a country with special laws about trade mark translation).

But generally, treat it like a name (a name of a person). If you think the literal meaning of the trade mark text is relevant, add it to the text somehow (eg in brackets, or as an explanatory note or remark). In the case of "Providers of Warm Environments" I'd certainly add the translation of "providers of warm environments" or similar somewhere in the text, but I'd probably keep "Providers of Warm Environments" as-is also.

Another strategy (that I've used myself) when confronted with untranslatable chunks of text that would be also meaningful to source text readers, is to ask whether the untranslatable form is truly necessary everywhere in the text. Suppose your text is an advertisement and it contains "Providers of Warm Environments" in several paragraphs, then you could use "Providers of Warm Environments" in one or two crucial places (eg the opening and closing paragraph), and use the literal translation of it in the other paragraphs where it occurs.

Of course it also depends on the type of text.


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Heather Drake  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends on relevance to the text. Dec 30, 2008

Absolutely, Samuel. Your answer fits my personal opinion onthis subject totally.

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José Raeiro  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:56
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all. Feb 16, 2009

I think it would be virtually impossible to sum it all up in a better way than you all have done.

Thank you so much!


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Translation of trademarks

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