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Fashion industry translations 2018-11-13T16:46:58+01:00

Fashion Industry Translations and Transcreation

Imagine you work in the Communications Office of a prestige brand and you have to commission fashion industry translations for the launching of a new product on the international market: even without knowing it, you are commissioning a so-called Transcreation. This is the production of communicative material by translation with creative adaptation, achieved through advertising copywriting techniques, to re-calibrate messages and adapt them to the target cultural setting.

In a market of this type we cannot expect to resolve the need for a language service simply by asking for professional fashion industry translations in the strict sense. The availability of Mother-Tongue Translators certainly helps to get the designers’ key messages across, but we cannot expect to communicate or even translate for ready-to-wear just by slavishly reproducing sequences of words and syntax. This is why Transcreation is becoming more and more common.

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How to translate for fashion (and what we don’t translate)

When we translate for the fashion and luxury segment we have to move between two poles: the maximum freedom typical of “creative translators” and the minimum change to untranslatable content. Nowadays, documents translated in the Fashion and Luxury sectors increasingly display a large percentage of Anglicisms, so for a freelance translator or a language services agency there is always the dilemma: do we translate or leave it in the original language?

It may seem senseless to leave terms in the original language. And yet those working, for example, on a translation for the online fashion sector often have to interface with fashion bloggers who leave a lot of words in the original language. What should they do, then: not translate? The solution is to aim for a “fresh”, immediate communication able to convey emotions and not just straightforward product specifications.

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The specialist readership of contents translated for the fashion industry

Not only press releases and glossy brochures: fashion translation increasingly consists of product-sheets, so much so that translating is done also for the buyers. These specialists act as commercial intermediaries and must therefore consult product data-sheets that are carefully translated but nevertheless “toned” in an emotional message.

This is familiar to those who have to promote Italian-made products: if a touch of creativity is not used in translating promotional materials, from clothing to cosmetics (not forgetting when we translate for the footwear industry), we are unlikely to succeed in establishing a specialised marketing strategy, i.e. one calibrated to the reference cultural setting.