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Testing to prevent bad translation: Brand name conversions in Chinese-English contexts

  • Kum, Doreen
  • Lee, Yih Hwai
  • Qiu, Cheng
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    This research investigates bilingual consumers' evaluation of brand name translations from logographic-Chinese to alphabetic-English language systems. The research examines four possible methods of translation -- semantic, phonetic, phonosemantic and Hanyu Pinyin. Consumers' chronic differences in language proficiency levels and the presence of situational primes relating to phonological or semantic processing jointly influence preferences for the translation methods. In addition to findings consistent with the premise that phonological/semantic processing is effective in alphabetic/logographic languages, this research shows that consumers who are strong in Chinese and weak in English prefer Pinyin translations across all conditions.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Business Research.

    Volume (Year): 64 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 6 (June)
    Pages: 594-600

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:64:y:2011:i:6:p:594-600
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    1. Luo, Xueming & Zhou, Lianxi & Liu, Sandra S., 2005. "Entrepreneurial firms in the context of China's transition economy: an integrative framework and empirical examination," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 277-284, March.
    2. Sternthal, Brian & Tybout, Alice M & Calder, Bobby J, 1987. " Confirmatory versus Comparative Approaches to Judging Theory Tests," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 114-25, June.
    3. Luna, David & Peracchio, Laura A, 2001. " Moderators of Language Effects in Advertising to Bilinguals: A Psycholinguistic Approach," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 284-95, September.
    4. Tavassoli, Nader T & Han, Jin K, 2001. " Scripted Thought: Processing Korean Hancha and Hangul in a Multimedia Context," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 482-93, December.
    5. Koslow, Scott & Shamdasani, Prem N & Touchstone, Ellen E, 1994. " Exploring Language Effects in Ethnic Advertising: A Sociolinguistic Perspective," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 575-85, March.
    6. Schmitt, Bernd H & Pan, Yigang & Tavassoli, Nader T, 1994. " Language and Consumer Memory: The Impact of Linguistic Differences between Chinese and English," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 419-31, December.
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