Study of advertising language

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As it has been mentioned, the first chapter of this work examines the
main features and peculiarities of advertisements and ways of their
translation. In particular, the following aspects were presented:
structure (composition) of advertisements of different types; main
features present in different types of advertisements; syntactical
features and their functional importance; lexical peculiarities – main
vocabulary characteristics; advertisements, ways of translating
advertisements focusing especially on difficulties and peculiarities of
advertisement translation. The following conclusions were drawn:

Structure (composition) of advertisements is determined by their purpose
and tasks referred to. Thus, advertisements may present a solid text of
a considerable length or they may consist of a few sentences, phrases or
even words. The style of advertisements is dependent upon the purpose of
the advertisement. The main stylistic features characteristic of all
types of advertisements were presented and it was stated that the
advertisements of a logical nature, i.e. in order to be translated
properly they must be understood properly; they might be formal; they
are always showing various emotions which are traps for a consumer, and
they may be precise or vague.

Very often the advertised product may not be named directly but through
various was and a thorough reading of the advertised text will help to
translate the object advertised in a proper way. Often adjective + noun
phrases have either the adjective or the noun used figuratively. This
features requires a thorough reading of the advertised text and
consulting monolingual dictionaries. In this case the context is of
great importance. Advertised titles are also of great interest to a
consumer-text translator.

A very common feature of any advertisement is the advertising claims
which possesses certain peculiarities and is of great interest to a
translator. The claim is a verbal or print part of an advertisement that
makes some claim of superiority for the product advertised. Very many of
them are misleading to an average consumer and, of course, to a
translator. The translator must study both the claim and the text
thoroughly and find the hidden meaning of it. Very often the equivalent
may be completely different from its original but have the same purpose.
Another common feature of advertisements is the use of slogans which are
short, laconic phrases that a company uses over in its advertisements.
Good slogans are easy to remember and tend to stick in people’s minds.
Therefore, the translation of slogans must have the same features, i. e.
be easy to remember. In some cases the target slogan might differ
completely from its source but have the same psychological purpose. The
translator must possess a great talent to understand such slogans and
convey them in the target text as close as possible. While translating
advertisements from different fields of commercial activity (cars,
computers, TVs etc.) certain terms have been encountered which do not
exist in the target culture so far. Such equivalents may be forwarded by
the translator himself/herself only after consulting special reference
books or after consulting a specialist in the field.

Certain terms are not difficult but curious for translation requiring a
thorough logical thinking. As it is seen from the above-mentioned issues
the most important thing in translating advertisements is the context.
The context explains the meaning of the title, helps to understand words
and phrases. It eliminates any difficulty or curiosity that may appear.
Several pieces of advice could ensure from the above-mentioned points:

A consumer-oriented text translator, or an advertisement translator,
should always refer to monolingual dictionaries while translating. A
bi-lingual dictionary, which should at least contain 70,000 entries,
must be the last book o reference. The advertisement translator must be
acquainted very well with the characteristic field of the advertisement
and must be familiar with all the features of the advertised product or
service. The advertisement translator should refer to specialized
reference books in order to translate well any possible difficulty.

The grammar and prosody of the advertisements are presented and
discussed in the second and third chapters. The linguistic choices
observed at each level of analysis are interpreted and discussed in the
second chapter. The choices in respect of grammar include topicalized
versions of nominal and verbal sentences, imperatives and
interrogatives, hypotaxis and parataxis, disjunctive mode of expressions
involving clauses, phrases and compounds, nominal and verbal attributes
of different kinds, intensifiers of different degrees, morphemes of
conversational significance and morphemes related to euphony, emphasis
and contrast. Alliteration, rhyme and rhythm form the choices in prosody
and the choices related to figures of speech include simile, metaphor,
personification, pun, hyperbole, litotes, antithesis, oxymoron,
metonymy, rhetoric question, exclamation, climax reduplication,
repetition, onomatopoeia and idiom. At the level of discourse, the
choices are related to form of address (direct and indirect address) and
style of discourse (formal and colloquial style). All different choices
mentioned above are closely linked with the five functions of
advertising – attracting attention, arousing interest, stimulating
desire, creating conviction and getting action.

It is also found that these choices fulfill the different communicative
functions of language such as informative, expressive, directive,
contextual, interactional and poetic. There is no one to one
correspondence always between linguistic choices and the advertising
function. That is, one particular choice may overlap with different
functions. As for instance, the use of rhyme or rhythm may serve to
attract and arouse interest. Almost all the choices mentioned above are
found to be attested in this medium. For instance, the verb ’be’, which
is occasionally used in the body copy of magazine advertisements, is
never used in radio and television advertisements. This is related to
the fact that both radio and television involve the oral mode of
expression, where the use of the verb ‘be’ is mostly avoided. The use of
direct form of address is more frequent in magazines, whereas, the use
of colloquial style is more predominant in other forms of media rather
than in magazines. The relationship between language use and
non-linguistic aspects of advertisements such as typography, visual,
audio effects is another possible area for future research.

In conclusion, it should be mentioned that the study of the language of
advertisements constitutes an interesting and challenging process. This
process rises certain issues that may present a fruitful area for a
follow-up research.

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