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Differences Of British And Chinese Advertisements Cultural Studies Essay

Advertisement is a responsible information broadcast activity is paid by advertisers. They carry some particular messages and they are displayed on public media to be able to attain certain purposes. Specifically, advertisement is a publicity campaign designed to introduce products to the public, report content of services or for entertainment. The globalization of the world economy has made the cross culture advertising broadcast enter into being. Despite the fact that they are the same type of information sources for modern life and share certain characters, British and Chinese advertisements are from different culture backgrounds in order that they will vary in language and mode of thinking. This essay will discuss the variations of Chinese and British advertisement in three areas: language, mode of thinking and culture.

The difference in languages of British and Chinese advertisement

Language is closely related to culture as they are beneficial and limited by one another. Also, it is influenced by philosophical thoughts, cultural psychology, moral concepts, and the modes of expression. Similarly, the advertising language is a kind of practical language, with different and similar expressions, that happen to be reflected on philosophical thoughts, cultural psychology, moral concepts and thinking modes. Meanwhile, to comprehend the similarities and differences between the advertising languages˜such as English and Chinese advertising languages˜ can help us to understand distinctions and similarities between the cultures. So it is necessary to investigate the similarities and dissimilarities between Chinese and Western advertising languages. This paper tends, to some extent, to reveal the similarities and differences between Chinese and English cultures by analyzing the English and Chinese advertising languages on philosophical thoughts, cultural psychology, moral concepts and thinking modes. Language is the carrier of culture. But the advertising language is bound by culture, it'll broadcast and spread culture. Therefore, an additional research will have to be carried on in the future, as the advertising language is at the mercy of change with culture. Chinese is a language governed by meaning. Chinese is regarded as a flexible language which can be long or short in its lexical units, and is dependant on the language of logic phrase chunks while British language are made of verb central elements that happen to be inflexible.

Flowery language vs. concise wording[4]

"When concerning about the rhetoric, Chinese will use gorgeous words while English has a vivid character of conciseness.

"Chinese is good writer to express their feelings by writing and try their finest to use grand vocabulary to describe beautiful and moving images to be sounded elegantly. Many high-sounding words are available in Chinese. For example, in Chinese advertisements we frequently see words like""(first class)˜""(perfect)˜""(specific) regardless of the quality of goods being advertised. In regards to to language forms, the Oriental strives for symmetry in structure and rhyme in sound, hence reading neat, implicit and musical. For example, four-character phrases, parallelism, antithesis appears frequently in Chinese. To be able to achieve rhyming, emphasis or neat structure Oriental often resorts to tautology.

"On the contrary, western literature and art have been developing under the idea of imitating the reality. The English language reflects this theory and proves to be objective, factual and rational. It offers tight syntax, meticulous blast of thought, and logical relationship between linguistic units, concise wording and straightforward description. Overall, brevity is the soul of wit, or in other words, a proper word in an effective place is good English. Abusing of florid language is forbidden in good English, for it is considered illogical and could harm the initial meaning or communication.

"Thus Chinese and English advertisements are quite different, in particular when describing scenery in tourist advertisements. It really is a language for poets to give expression to special feelings instead of defining or judging. Even though describing sceneries, English displays a beauty of form, straightforward, explicit, objective, unlike the casual, subjective Chinese. For example, the next advertisement written by a native speaker of English is concise and plain, and through simile and combination of concrete scenes, it offers enough room for imagination. However, from the point of view of Chinese, it could be too plain. For example:

(2)Tiny islands are strung round the edge of the peninsula like a pearl necklace. Hunks of coral reef, coconut palms and fine white sand.

"If we translate it word by word, it will not meet Chinese readers' expectation. So abundant modifiers such as""˜" "˜and""¶"˜and four-character phrases like "†˜·"˜and"‡-»"are employed to help make the translated version read beautiful.

" †±†˜·˜‡ ˜† ˜ "˜‡»- †˜

† ˜˜ ˜ ˜†»"¶˜‡†‡-»

"The bold characters add charm to the scenic spot and contribute to the whole rhyming structure but mean nothing to English readers because they are repetitive and wordy. A similar holds true that in C-E translation, those superfluous modifiers should be omitted, adapted or implicit between lines so as to make the mark version conform to the westerners' aesthetic standards. "

The difference in mode of thinking about British and Chinese advertisement

In Chinese traditional culture, there's a public feeling that what should be conservative and, implicit. As the unsaying words are incredibly meaningful and can perform a great state. In the Chinese articles, there are some words that appear unrelated, which highlight the theme. To some extent, there are many words about the peculiarities and the functions of the merchandise. For examples:

(12) ·±˜˜' (')

(13)  †˜ ˜(† )

(14) ˜‡˜'‡ - ˜»»"˜ !


In all, Chinese nation think highly of friendship. So these means mentioned previously can achieve the sympathetic effect. The advertisements get the target. For another example:

Now there's something more dentists ca n recommend for your gums that's which can help get them healthier. Crest Plus Gum Care is the only real cavity of getting toothpaste that's so effective; it's clinically which can help reserve the gum disease gingivitis. (Crest )

From the advertisement above, it could be seen that the frank, candid, and efficient attitudes. The advertisers show the peculiarities and functions of the merchandise straightforwardly. The words are very reliable and convincible. This direct expressing way of advertising complies with the western people's style and gives good impression to the western readers.

In Chinese traditional culture, the mode of thinking is belonging to the imagery pattern most of time. Somewhat, the abstract pattern is little. Chinese people often put their feelings in the concrete objects and things. When a person sees an object, he/she will think of another familiar person. This is actually the good sense of Chinese people. Therefore the advertisers often show a comparably concrete scene or an analogy, to ensure that the readers can think of the products easily.

The considered western people are used to be leaping and thoughtful. They prefer the abstract thinking pattern than the imagery pattern. So they often times make use of the creative language, and give the readers a kind of novel ideas to ensure that the consumers can get a profound and favorable impression. For example:


(J&B wine)

(17) Minolta. The simplicity of intelligence.

(Minolta typewriter)

(18) Comfort, care, dedication.

We've put it all in our airline. ---Welcome to civilized aviation.

(Swiss International Air Lines)

From long time ago, Chinese culture stresses on the general public opinion. It insists that individuals should solicit comments and suggestions from other person outside his/her organization. Looked after regards that the records can prove everything including the last, the present, and the future. The authority has a great capacity to affect the purchase of the consumers. So this is one important feature of Chinese advertisements. The advertisers often enumerate the honors and certificates and let them occupy a pivotal position, when the advertisers introduce the products to the readers. For example:

(19) ·"IS9001"»‡"‡"-""·†-1000·»·˜ ‡

(20)- ˜˜¶"˜˜¶˜

But not the same as Chinese advertisements, English advertisements have this kind of expressing way rarely. Because they have the successful realization of self-value. Therefore the practical consciousness appeared here and there in English advertisements.

The difference in culture of British and Chinese advertisement

From the facet of culture basic form, Chinese culture has the monism viewpoint and the western culture has the pluralism viewpoint. "Nature and human are in oneness" is one of Chinese philosophy concepts in Chinese traditional culture. It insists that nature and human should be in harmony. Contrary to the Chinese culture, the western culture insists on the view of pluralism. It emphasizes on the changes and dissimilarities of the problem, self-development, and enterprising spirits. Some Chinese advertisements meet up with the culture psychology of Chinese public, and create some preferable advertising words. For instance:

(5) †-¶˜" " ¶-(Beverage)

(6)- -˜ ˜(Car)



˜  ˜-

¶˜±± (Fresh Milk)

The three advertising examples take benefit of the idea "Nature and human are in oneness", and create imagining language in the form of empathy. The means of artistic expression attract the readers' attention and the advertisement gets its ideal effect. The advertiser takes the Wahaha beverage as the holy water from Paradise by utilizing a metaphor. "Water from the Paradise" comes from the five-thousand-year-old Chinese culture. The myth makes the common water noble and mysterious. The consumers feel it ought to be out of ordinary if they buy the merchandise. The pure, the holy and the rich fragrant make the tea beverage be the essence of heaven and earth. Therefore the products fascinate the consumers very much that arouse the people's enthusiasm and the strong purchase desire. This advertisement gets it goal.

The English advertisements are influenced by the pluralism viewpoint of western culture which prefers the individual freedom, self-development and the creative ability. In addition, it encourages visitors to transform world and conquer the type. These advertisements highlight the value of person self-development, and publicize their products from point of view of personality. They show the ideas in western value system that folks can transform everything and folks can create everything. The advertisements manifest the beliefs that individuals should pursuit the freedom and the self-development, and create the near future. Theses expressions fulfill the consumers' personality development and arouse the sympathetic responses.

So if only the advertisers design the English advertisements by firmly taking the consumers' the fundamental interests as the bottom and by taking the idea of self value realization as the target. in culture centers around the personal value, western people treat the official position as the common thing. Western culture pays more attention on the personal value and self interests. It ad can lead to the dissimilarity in advertising translation. Like the trademark " ", should it be translated to" White Bear" or "Polar Bear"? That is something regarding the existing politics. Combined with the change of the international political situation, " Polar Bear"( - ) have previously had another extra meaning, people may easy regard it as the nickname which make reference to some sort of political power on the globe. Therefore, "White Bear" may be more acceptable. When Japanese company Toyota firstly entered into the Chinese market, they created an advertisement slogan " Where there is a method for car there's a Toyota. " this has borrowed from one of China's colloquialism. But if publicized in america still remain this, it'll make people puzzled. Hence they changed the advertisement language into" Not absolutely all cars are manufactured equal" Everyone knows the history of america may recognize that the first sentence of Declaration of Independence is" All men are manufactured equal", Employing this borrowing sentence, Toyota make its declaration that the grade of their cars is way better than others'.


Advertising can be an implicit form of persuasion. Language and cultural distinctions can be reflected from the advertising language. This paper has shown that language and culture distinctions can influence the advertisement from so many aspects. On the basis of analyzing the issues which has appeared in the advertisement translation between Chinese and English language, this paper suggests the requirements and ways of advertisement translation nowadays.

To make a good advertisement and to influence the behavior of potential customers toward a predetermined direction, the advertisers try to produce memorable and attracting works. Following a economic growing, the marketplace becomes a global one and the competition becomes more drastic. So making clear of the features of each culture is the most urgent task to advertisers. "Do as Romans do" the advertisement should be designed according to the nation-specific culture. Only when the advertisers achieve this task, this advertisement can achieve its goal which it can satisfy the consumers, and help the merchandise to be well sold. Thus, as the translator, she or he ought to know the nation-specific culture further, grasp the pity and use it.

The purpose of advertising translation is to persuade target language consumers to buy a product or service. To attract and communicate to them in a way that produces this desired result, translators must acquaint themselves with target language consumer's way of thinking, with those factors that motivate them to buy, and with the surroundings where they live. With this sense advertising translating is more of your marketing practice. An excellent advertisement translator must be considered a first artistic writer. She or he must first be able to know clear about the cultural difference; and then to recognize the cultural constraints in confirmed advertisement; the last is to facilitate across-culture communication by overcoming the obstacle set by the constraints. In every, a good advertiser can do the contribution to the products' sale.

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