Same intended effect, different ways to achieve: the role of culture in marketing transcreation from English into Chinese

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Culture plays a vital role in what is to be transcreated. This presentation demonstrates that in the marketing genre, while the English source text (ST) and the Chinese target text (TT) share the same intended effect of persuasion, the Chinese TT differs significantly. Based on the premise that creation in transcreation involves optional shifts (Ho, 2020): shifts made to achieve intended effects in translation (Calzada Pérez, 2007), and that persuasion, the intended effect in marketing texts, can be achieved through evaluative language, Martin and White’s (2005) Appraisal framework is used to identify patterns of optional shifts in the form of evaluative epithets. A parallel corpus of English marketing texts (17,268 words) and Chinese translation (19,103 words) is analysed. Results show that albeit sharing the same intended effect, persuasion in the TT differs in three ways: 1) it is more salient due to many more explicit epithets; 2) it is more forceful: the TT has more maximally upscaled epithets; 3) it is more emotive: it has more Reaction epithets, the only emotive type. When Hofstede’s (2001) cultural dimensions are applied to understand these TT persuasion patterns, a higher avoidance of uncertainty and a higher degree of individualism are shown. These contradict Hofstede’s findings on Chinese cultural characteristics. The results highlight the ecological nature of culture and its role in transcreation: cultural characteristics are influenced by the environment (in this case, luxury marketing communications). These influenced cultural characteristics in turn determine what is transcreated in that same environment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2021
Eventthe 7th International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS) - Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 14 Sept 202117 Sept 2021

Conference

Conferencethe 7th International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS)
Country/TerritorySpain
CityBarcelona
Period14/09/2117/09/21

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