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Translation for cosmetics: how to do it?

translation for cosmetics

Translating for cosmetics requires specific technical expertise in the industry and solid experience of marketing and advertising translation. Here are some of the main challenges that this type of translation poses, as well as the pitfalls to avoid for a flawless piece of work.

Translating for the cosmetics industry: which texts to translate

Many cosmetics manufacturers are major international companies, therefore active in a wide variety of markets. In such cases, it is therefore essential to create and maintain a standard corporate image across all the markets in which the company operates. To achieve this, all marketing material developed for the purpose of advertising and accompanying cosmetic products must be appropriately translated.

You will therefore need to translate: brochure content, informative material, labels, catalogues and promotional texts for publication.

Neither should graphics be overlooked: the resulting text must fit perfectly into all media intended for marketing, such as catalogues and websites. To this end, it may be necessary to rearrange the translated text so that it blends seamlessly with the graphics created especially for each publishing project.

As always in the commercial field, translations for the cosmetics industry must be geo-localised. This means they must contain references to the culture of their target market. With this in mind, it is essential to adopt an appropriate ‘tone of voice’ and translate any wordplay effectively through creative rewriting in the target language (AKA ‘transcreation’).

Of course, every nation has a specific set of laws governing the wording of cosmetic product labels. Companies must therefore be sure to produce translations of their cosmetic product data sheets that are compliant with current legislation in the relevant country.

Translation of cosmetics labels is one of the technical translation services we offer. It involves translation of texts in very specific fields, using specialist language. In cosmetics, it is essential, for instance, to translate lists of ingredients using precise chemical terms.

Translating for cosmetics: top tips and mistakes to avoid

In translation for cosmetics, failing to reach the target audience is one of the worst pitfalls to avoid.

In the past, cosmetic products were almost exclusively the preserve of women. Today, however, cosmetics are widely used by men as well. In marketing translations, it is therefore essential to adopt the most effective ‘tone of voice’ and register for ‘reaching’ the target market specific to a given product.

Another mistake to avoid is underestimating the importance of translations for the cosmetics industry. An eternal and stark reminder of this is the tragicomic error by Estée Lauder, who marketed their ‘Country Mist’ foundation in Germany without translating its name. Shame that ‘mist’, in German, actually means ‘manure’. What woman would want to rub ‘country manure’ on her face?

Do you need to translate texts into other languages for your business? At Eurotrad, we offer professional marketing translations tailored to your company and your target market and audience. Contact us for a free quote!

If your cosmetics company operates on the international market, effective translation of cosmetic product data sheets is a must.

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May 9, 2022

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