Aug 31, 2017
A brand name is an essential part of an advertising campaign, identifying and being closely associated with a product or a manufacturer. One of the major functions of a brand name is to catch the attention of the audience and enhance their memorization. This research takes English-Chinese translation of brand names as an example and studies a prominent feature or strategy of brand name translation, namely rewriting to establish images in relation to the original pronunciation and/or logo. The translation of brand names is not bound by the original semantic meaning and is highly flexible, but it often retains the original sound or pronunciation. In the case of English-Chinese translation, brand names are often rewritten in that a new meaning is presented in the translation and images are established that are associated with the product or manufacturer. This study views image in its broadest sense, establishes a framework of images covering both concrete and abstract versions and discusses the functions of images in increasing the memorability of a brand name and engaging the audience’s emotions. A corpus of 316 English brand names with Chinese translations is considered and two examples are selected for discussion, one looking at the establishment of a concrete image and the other an abstract image. Such rewriting is analysed in relation to the functions of brand names in the hope of providing translators with a point of reference.