Dos & don’ts of copy content

Write – Don’t Translate!

You arrive at work and begin browsing through the pages of your Spanish newspaper when you find an ad that you have to read three times to understand. The ad was translated from English to Spanish perfectly, so it all makes sense, but a literal translation rarely – if ever – communicates well, especially in advertising.

Your organization may not even realize it, but you’ve just wasted time and money. Even worse, you may have negatively impacted the very brand you’re trying to position within the fast-growing Latinx segment.

There’s no doubt that translations are necessary for a number of documents and other forms of communiqués. However, when developing creative messaging in the form of advertising and press releases, the best thing to do is write for the market!

In the creative world, you don’t translate words, you translate ideas. Your creative team must start with a message in English that will successfully resonate as a concept with the Latinx market. The ideas must connect with the sensibilities and cultural nuances to ensure it is relevant, understanding that there are differences in taste, priorities, and language style, among other things. In press releases, you may change the lead of the story to better connect, or find a fun, nuanced twist to a headline in an ad. Only then can the English concept can be successfully written in Spanish with an effective and engaging message. It must be more than just a simple translation that doesn’t effectively tell your brand story.