María Palomares Tarí
THE LANGUAGE OF LUXURY: SOME UNIQUE CHALLENGES
Luxury products are crafted to the finest detail by creative designers and artisans. In fact, the complete luxury aesthetic creates and environment of desirability, sophistication, and elegance, we all know that. But how you ever wondered how luxury brands manage to convey their values? Think about it. From visuals and sounds to aromas and colours, everything is always considered in detail to enhance the luxury brand narrative. But what about language?
Luxury brands are full well how to practice the fine art of seduction, and language is indispensable when it comes to creating desire. Language can seduce the imagination. Thus, one of the biggest challenges for global marketers is translating values -- such desirability-- into a content that would convey the brand reputation or its heritage across different countries and cultures.
More than just a translation
Luxury translations are quite unique because we are not talking about straightforward reproductions of facts, information, or instructions – as occurs with technical translation, for instance.
First up, translating for global luxury brands requires having the ability to bring the brand personality to life on paper through creativity, versatility and, why not, perfectionism. As the language used to communicate the brand’s value is usually handled by specialist writers, translations should be carried out with the same meticulous care.
Additionally, terminology requirements are precise regarding not just the language to describe the pieces or goods the brand sells, but also their specifications! Besides every brand use a completely different vocabulary each representing luxury as defined by their unique position within the market.
And not to mention the terminology used to describe the artisanal processes used to create some items. These are often specific to a geographical area and therefore a language. To maintain the brand prestige, high standard of attention thorough the whole translation process is a must.
On the other hand, sometimes there is no available reference material to help translators Why? Because brands offer innovation, that is, new products using new techniques, things that have never been done before. In those cases, professional translation must push their limits to achieve the brand’s expectations.
Apart from this, when it comes to luxury translations, only a process of transcreation will do -- rather than simply rendering the words into another language, the initial text should be used as an inspiration to recreate the intention of the original message.
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