Before setting foot in China, foreign brands need Chinese names of their own first. Some of these Chinese names are not only consistent with their original ones phonetically and semantically, but also integrate themselves with the products to generate huge brand values and become a motive power for the brands' persistent growth. Moreover, they are fairly artistic and poetic.
Below are 10 of the most successful translations in Chinese history of business.
10. 依云 (Evian)
Evian is a brand of mineral water coming from a small town on the shore of Lake Geneva and at the foot of Alps in southeast France. It is popular among Hollywood celebrities, as well as one of the rare brands we can share with those celebrities.
Water accounts for 70% of the human body. Statistically, one can be judged by what water he or she drinks. When you get tired of the local Nongfu Spring, please have a taste of Evian.
9. 伟哥 (Viagra)
Generally, one can only read from the name of a drug what disease it would cure rather than what kind of person it would turn you into, but "伟哥"(Viagra, literally a powerful man) is the exception. Regardless of forms and effects, it goes directly to the significance of life. Undoubtedly, such a naming method is rather successful in the history of business.
8. 宜家 (IKEA)
IKEA is an acronym that consists of the initials of Ingvar Kamprad (its founder), Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up), and Agunnaryd (his hometown in Småland, south Sweden). However, since it came to China, it has been provided with the name "宜家" which is haunting Chinese moms. The name "宜家" originates from the lyrics in Fiery Peach, Zhou and the South, The Book of Songs, "桃之夭夭，灼灼其华。之子于归，宜其室家", which means "The peach tree blooms; with fiery red glumes; she's to wed her groom; the clan is to boom".
With this mind-pleasing name, emotion-pleasing prices and body-pleasing products, it is liked by everyone in such a barely livable country.
7. 波音 (Boeing)
I'm sure you have travelled at sonic speed on a Boeing before Such an elegant name "波音" (literally "the sound of wave") shares almost the same pronunciation with its English equivalence. Reading it, you will feel the aircraft's lightening speed, and even the Doppler effect. It gives you a great sense of safety.
6. 奔驰 (Mercedes-Benz)
If "波音" is too fast for you, you can ride "奔驰" (Benz, literally "run quickly"). Such a name explains what this low-profile luxury is. A verb is used here rather than adjectives that are generally spared for compliments.
Its name being a neutral verb, it is impeccable, extravagant but not arrogant. Despite its differentiated needs in China, it has become the brand that is enjoying the widest popularity.
5. 香奈儿 (Channel)
The female name in French has fascinated people all over the world. Every man smells it and leaves a scent of his girlfriend behind, while every woman sees it and thinks of her boyfriend.
4. 万宝路 (Marlboro)
You may never have smoked "Marlboro", but it is impossible for you not to know those who smoke this giant tobacco brand. As the best-selling tobacco in the world, it is one of the earliest brands introduced in China. Like the tobacco itself, its Chinese translation "万宝路" is fairly catchy and popular all over China.
Due to the banning of tobacco advertisements, few people who don't smoke may have heard it, but it lives eternally in our lungs.
3. 浪琴 (Longines)
Time is the tweedle marking our waving life.
Even if you haven't got a thorough understanding of the universe's mystery, the name "浪琴" (Longines, literally "tweedle of waves") will still sound marvelous to you. Every time you look at it, it feels like you are getting closer and closer to the end of the universe- or the deadline of you!
2. 宝马 (BMW)
These three letters have created a wonder in the world. "宝马" (literally "precious horse") has explained what is this magic translation.
I don't know how many girls have been sadden by "宝马", but I do know it has brought numerous glories to BMW. Xes flock the streets in China where X no longer represents a cross as it should have been; rather x is a "kiss" instead.
1. 可口可乐 (Coca-Cola)
When it appeared in China in 1927, Coca-Cola was first translated by a short-sighted nerd into "蝌蝌啃蜡" (literally "tadpoles biting wax"). This dodgy name conjured up unusual images of what the product may be which led to its rebranding "可口可乐" (literally "delicious cola"), which is widely recognized today.
The brand's iconic red background is perfectly tailored for the Chinese market.
The article is translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source for any use, reproduction or transfer.