7 Best Examples of Chinese Brands Translations
In today’s world where products are imported and exported over the globe, translation is mandatory to develop understanding and to establish communication. China is the hub of economic and commercial activity in the world, leading in both areas and many more. Some of the Chinese brands are the top brands in the world but since their names are changed according to the market they are introduced in, few people know that they belong to China. Unlike western states where brand name indicates the meaning of product, Chinese brand names do not depict its connotation.
Therefore, it is difficult to translate the Chinese brand name and product to export them overseas. If you own a company that wants to make a good impression on the Chinese market, you would need a good brand translation, which is possible by hiring a professional agency that delivers Chinese translation services.
It might be interesting to observe that there are some awful stories regarding failed Chinese brands owing to a bad translation of products but here are 7 most appreciated Chinese ongoing brands which are liked internationally.
It is complicated to translate and understand the Chinese language. While many people are now learning Mandarin in order to understand the language more, brands are still thinking of ways of making a big impact on the international market while keeping their original name intact. Nike, the international sports brand, acquired instant popularity in China and West too as Nike (Nai-Ke) stands for “perseverance and endurance”.
These meanings were interesting and easy to understand, which made the brand stand out from the rest. Although it is anticipated that this Chinese brand will capture the US market this year, some Western brands are still taking the lead in the domestic sports market in China, such as Anta (15%), Adidas (20%), and other smaller brands. In 1991 Nike released the sixth edition of Air Jordan, Anta Company came in the market for business at the same time, whereas Adidas Company was taking the lead in the shoe market. However, Anta holds a strong position in the Chinese market owing to its strong supply chain network but Adidas and Nike are making their way to brand excellence slowly.
The Only Cola “COCA-COLA”
A brand that does not require any introduction as everyone is well aware of it is Coca Cola—a world-famous beverage that means “tasty-fun” in both Chinese and Western languages and the Chinese translation for Coca Cola is “Ke-Kou-Ke-Le”. Naming a brand well holds significant importance in China which is why the Chinese focus on giving a unique, understandable, and attractive name to its brands. It is reported that naming a brand in China is a whole industry now and individuals as well as companies that suggest unique names for brands are paid to do it. Since it is difficult to translate a brand to suit the preferences of each country, as every country has its own linguistic and cultural expressions, Chinese brands hire individuals of other states to name their products as well as pay them to translate Chinese products in their own regional languages.
The Chinese prefer symbols over words, which is why most of their brand names hold a symbolic meaning. One such famous brand is BMW, which when translated in Chinese (Bao-Ma), means a precious horse. The horse as an animal is considered a strong symbol in China and is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. In English “宝 (bǎo)” stands for precious jewel whereas in China it depicts positivity and luck. While the speed of the car is described as “my car is this much horsepower”, the horse sign “马” denotes a motor. This shows why BMW is named after the horse as it is considered a powerful and fast ride in China.
Colgate Tooth Paste
Some translations are better left to be translated by expert companies that deliver professional Chinese translation services. Nevertheless, some famous brands have made a name for themselves in China. One such brand is Colgate. In China Colgate is called “Gao-Lu-Jie” which means revealing superior cleanliness. The reason this brand became one of the most used toothpaste brands in the world was the sheer number of people using it in China. The Chinese use Colgate to brush their teeth and it is the only fastest selling brand in the country. Moreover, since Colgate means “high reveal clean” in Chinese, it denotes cleanliness and oral hygiene in both China and elsewhere in the world.
Another famous brand that has made waves of popularity across the world is the Marriot Hotel. The brand is known as “wan-hao” in China which means “10,000 wealthy elites” in Chinese (“万 (Wan)” means ten thousand and “豪(hau)” means wealth or luxury). The target market of the hotel is the elite or upper-middle class which is why its advertisements are also aimed at attracting the elite customer who is willing to spend money for a luxurious stay or meal at the hotel. Since the name Marriot is easy to understand both within and outside China, the brand has been able to make a name for itself in the league of famous hotels.
Famous Brands Mr. Muscle and Mr. Powerful
There are many brand translations that suffered a blow when they were translated wrongly into other languages. One of these brands is Mr. Muscle, the household cleaning brand that suffered a mistranslation crisis when it was noticed that it sounded like “Mr. Chicken Meat” when it was sent to China. However, the original has now been replaced with “Wei-Meng-Xian-Sheng” which means “Powerful”.
Mr. Muscle is a brand that was manufactured by S.C. Johnson and Sons, an American company manufacturing household cleaning supplies. Since this brand was also being imported from America into China, it became quite popular in the Chinese market.
The American brand began giving the local household cleaning brands some tough competition, which is why a new name was given to this brand—Mr. Powerful. However, this naming only added to the confusion, and people began to take these two brands as one. Still, Mr. Muscle still took a lead in the market due to its Chinese translation (Wēiměng Xiānshēng) which stands for Mr. Powerful. Nevertheless, the brand still is one of the most popular brands and is sold popularly in Chinese supermarkets.
Some brands have a very powerful brand impact and their names hold significant importance. One such brand that has a famous Chinese brand endorsement is Seiko, the world-famous watches brand. The company has successfully translated its brand name into Jinnggoing. The first part of this translation denotes essence whereas the second one refers to handmade crafts. When these are put together, they perfectly denote the fine craftsmanship and attention to detail that is characteristic of this watch brand.
The Last Word
The Chinese language is a myriad of figures and characters that holds significant importance for its people. Since the Chinese market is a hotbed for brands seeking to make a name for themselves, the need for translations into the Chinese language has made itself known through the times. Some of the most well-known and renowned brands of the world have made a name for themselves in China by choosing the brand names which, when translated into Chinese denote some very unique meanings.
Nevertheless, while these companies have been careful in selecting brand names for themselves in China, they would still need the support of reliable agencies that can deliver them professional Chinese translation services so they can translate their brands and content into the Chinese language.