This article reviews and discusses issues in translation of international brand names to Chinese, and provides a framework for international brand managers who want to expand into China. Linguistic differences between Chinese and English are wide and deep, making translation of brand names difficult. Cultural context, pronunciation, written vs. oral language, and meaning of characters are just a few examples of such difficulties. We discuss four global-product-naming strategic alternatives available to country/brand managers, along with their usage, and give examples of brands utilizing the different approaches. The four approaches we discuss include (1) dual extension, (2) brand meaning extension, (3) brand feeling extension, and (4) dual adaptation.
Alon, Ilan, Romie F. Littrell, and Allan K. K. Chan. 2010. Branding in china: Global product strategy alternatives. Multinational Business Review 17, (4): 123-142.
Multinational Business Review