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This paper reviews and discusses issues in translation of international brand names to Chinese, and provides a framework for brand managers who want to expand in China. Linguistic differences between Chinese and English are wide and deep, making translation of brand names difficult. Cultural context, pronunciation, written vs. oral language, and meaning of characters are just a few examples of such difficulties. International brands often need to be both globally consistent and locally relevant. A better understanding of the Chinese language and its membership in a linguistic group are relevant to international branding managers wishing to position their products in the local marketplace.
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