Chinese fashion translation is coming to the fore as an essential element in the fashion industry. Why? Because not only is the Chinese consumer market for fashion items booming rapidly, with expectations that it will reach billions of dollars quite soon, but also because many Western fashion labels are increasingly seeing prominence in the Chinese market, especially for haute couture or luxury clothing. Accurate Chinese translation is essential whether a Chinese fashion brand is seeking to enter the West or whether a Western company is seeking to penetrate the Chinese market. For this reason, high-quality Chinese fashion translation is a must. However, there are other factors to consider in conjunction with Chinese translations. Let’s explore these in more detail below.
Mistranslation means misrepresenting a culture
Most consumers in the West have seen clothing and apparel items with Chinese, Japanese, Korean or other Asian languages embroidered or printed on them. While this may be a way of showing respect for the particular Asian culture in question, many Asian people who see these messages on t-shirts, for example, may either find them to be offensive, that they contain gibberish, or that they are not accurately translated. This leads to the feeling that their culture is not being respected and hence accurate fashion translation services are critical when it comes to English to Chinese or Chinese to English translations. This is one way of not misappropriating a culture whether it’s from West to East or East to West. The opposite is also true when Chinese brands use English words to place on their apparel products. Some Western audiences may also find these messages offensive or just plain gibberish. Therefore, it’s vital to have quality translation and localization of all messages on apparel and on all marketing materials to avoid offense.
A further aspect for consideration when undertaking Chinese fashion translation is knowing your target market. Young Chinese individuals aged 25 to 35 are quickly coming to the fore as having growing purchasing power, choosing to dress elegantly and professionally to cater to their professional needs, selecting luxury clothing brands (both from the West and from China), and are overall seeking a high-quality product. What’s more is that this young population – born in the 1980s and 1990s – is also quickly becoming urbanized, which means that the demand for looking fashionable and stylish in multiple massive cities across China is growing. And in addition to this, there’s the aspect of sportswear and sporting events, which Chinese people (both young and old alike) attend and require the appropriate attire for. Therefore, selecting and catering to your target market effectively in terms of apparel should be another important consideration that you make when engaging the services of a translation and localization provider.
Online and offline retailing
Furthermore, in Chinese fashion translation, it’s crucial for businesses and retailers to have accurate English to Chinese or Chinese to English translations because they will need to cater to both the online and offline markets. Many Chinese people are increasingly purchasing clothes online and product categories and descriptions, prices, and more need to be accurately translated to ensure that the target market is not alienated. In terms of offline retailing, there are product catalogs and pamphlets that need to be prepared alongside other marketing materials and even presentations. These require the need for effective fashion translation services, which take localization into account.
Tourism and tourists
Millions of Chinese tourists visit various locations around the world each year and there is an unspoken expectation that they need to dress appropriately for the occasion and for the sub-occasions within their holidays. This means choosing the appropriate attire, whether sportswear (such as NorthFace, which is massive in China or even Nike, which opened 6,000 outlets in the country), stylish wear, or even casual wear. Therefore, brands that wish to cater to Chinese tourists abroad will want to ensure that they create and accurately market their high-quality apparel products to the Chinese consumer market in order to enter it effectively and earn more sales.
Why accurate Chinese fashion translation is essential
Chinese fashion translation is essential not only because of the massive market that it offers Western brands. It’s also important because not translating accurately or mistranslating can lose your brand value, face, and strength in market positioning. When entering a foreign market, it’s critical to have an effective translation from English to Traditional Chinese or other versions of the language so that the brand and market positioning strengthen and are not weakened. Retail brands need to consider this when catering to young audiences, which can be found online and offline. Anything that may be construed as culturally offensive should be eliminated from the offering and it’s, therefore, essential to ensure that you use accurate and high-quality fashion translation services.