The Chinese translation of your brand name is of huge importance to any of your company’s Chinese marketing campaigns. A brand name must be easy to remember, it must properly represent your company’s image and it just has to resonate with the Chinese consumer. Given the vast differences between the Chinese and English languages, “translating” a brand name is no easy task. There are several methods for translating brand names so if you want your brand name professionally translated, it’s important to know what you are getting.
In a literal translation, the words in a brand name are directly translated into Chinese resulting in a semantically accurate translation but a translation that is usually far from perfect when it comes to building brand recognition and identification. In a phonetic translation, the sounds of the English words are transliterated, meaning the translated Chinese brand name will sound as close as possible to the English brand name. This method makes for a good start, but there are usually tens or hundreds of choices available, and choosing one blindly sometimes brings disastrous results. Another option is to create a completely new Chinese brand name. This is fine if your company plans to have a separate image in China, but there would be little synergy between your international and Chinese brands. There is simply no 'one-size-fits-all' approach for translating a brand name into Chinese.
We believe the most important part of translating a brand name is to maintain as much of the “spirit” of the brand as possible. The core aspects of the brand must be considered first and the words or sound of the brand can then be matched as closely as possible. We do this by very carefully considering the meaning of the English brand name, and then using a creative translation process to come up with the best Chinese brand name possible.