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Translating for the fashion industry: what you need to know

The fashion industry is fascinating, but people don’t always know what working in the sector entails. When translating for this particular industry, it’s vital to convey finer shades of meaning in the target text and to have a good command of precise technical terms, which is by no means a simple or automatic process. Standard translations simply won’t do. The industry is complex and continuously evolving, which means that specialised professionals need to be competent, reliable and up-to-date with the latest trends.

We discussed the fashion industry with Giulia, who has worked with several clients in this sector.«At Eurotrad, I manage e-commerce translations for a large clothing distribution brand. We translate into English and Spanish, as well as into German and French for their website. I therefore have first-hand experience of the vital need to use terminology uniformly, in order to ensure that each product has the same name. Being prompt is also a key factor and is particularly important when it comes to fashion collections (and online texts, in particular), which are released ahead of season.

Texts often require a fresh style to keep readers interested and should also evoke a feeling of ‘fashion.’ Ensuring that charm and nuances of meaning are conveyed in the target language is incredibly important. We often ask for photos of the products and additional texts when working with clients, so that we have a concrete point of reference to work with. What better way to describe the texture of a bag than to see it in the flesh and actually touch it with your hand?

One of my fashion clients is a luxury outlet and we translate to and from a number of different languages for them, including Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic and Korean (the most popular language at the moment). Nuances of meaning and above all, style, are incredibly important. A concrete example? Never call a luxury outlet a ‘mall’ or ‘shopping centre’.

Redazione Eurotrad

May 13, 2019

Redazione Eurotrad

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