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Brand Name Translation as a Decisive Factor in Positioning Foreign Brands On Chinese Market (I)*

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Brand Name Translation as a Decisive Factor in Positioning Foreign Brands On Chinese Market (I)

Determining the brand name is always a crucial aspect in the development of a brand’s image and its correct positioning in the consumers’ mind. As the ideal name for a brand is always demanding to find, it becomes even harder to translate its original form in order to synchronize it to the culture and personality of the consumers of new, international market. It is even a more labyrinthine process to transfer a brand name from a phonographic language system to a logographic-based language system, such as Chinese, as Chinese writing is fundamentally different from other writing systems, in the way that it allows the interpretation of a word only at the broad level of the grapheme.

The purpose of this study is to examine and discuss the relation between translation approaches, cultural peculiarities and brand personality. In order to do this, 20 international brands, from five different categories were chosen through a focus group and analysed in order to show how and why Chinese consumers choose to adopt (or not) different foreign brands.

Keywords: brand image, brand personality, Chinese logographic system, cultural translation, phono-semantic translation

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