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5 Tips for a Successful Thai Marketing Translation

Posted by Ariel D. on June 15, 2022.

When it comes to Thai marketing translation, every localization manager might encounter some typical challenges since this country is home to various ethnic groups with different traditions, customs, and taboos.

Therefore, not only does a Thai marketing translator need to be a linguistic expert, but also needs to understand marketing techniques and Thai culture, thereby adapting the right style and language. In this blog post, GTE would introduce the most useful tips to localize your marketing materials into the Thai language.

1. Do Not Directly Translate Everything

First, you have to bear in mind that jumping to translate everything at the very beginning may not work. Thai marketing translation can take time.

01 Thai marketing translation

To successfully localize, translators need to initially investigate the content’s vagueness and nuances thoroughly. For taglines, slogans, or mottos, which are like the “backbone” of your marketing, or headlines of articles, which your audiences will likely read first, the study takes even more time.

In fact, without a deep understanding of the message, all marketing efforts may turn out to be in vain later on.

This process requires marketers and translators to work closely. Or if you want to save time, let’s go for a professional Thai marketing translation agency with proven experience. In this case, you should be explicit when briefing messages and then have the agency consult on the cultural aspects.

The space limit of your localized content should be another factor to consider before starting the translation. Since your target language may require more space compared to the original version, be prepared to alter the ad or article layout to fit the translated text.


2. Establish Tone and Style

The tone and vibe of your content localization, whether professional or informal, should be determined at the start of the project thanks to market research.

You should take into account cultural settings, the age of your target audiences, and their preferences. Since many Thai people prefer middle-way communication styles, you should also try using this approach in your Thai marketing translation.

That being said, do not forget to maintain your brand’s voice while adapting to local cultures. This way, the value of your company can echo.


3. Adapt to The Thai Cultural Context

Thai marketing translation is highly adapted to the customers’ insights. And to achieve this ultimate goal, cultural consideration is a must.

02 Thai marketing translation culture

Thus, it is a better idea to hire someone with knowledge and experience in the locale’s culture, rather than do it on your own. But how can a professional help, specifically?

Here’s the case most companies have encountered. Some phrases and idioms in their first language have no exact equivalent in Thai, and companies just can’t explain all of their meanings due to character limits.

However, with the help of an experienced marketing translator who knows the Thai culture, those expressions could be localized with their interpretation unchanged and local appeal added.

Also, copywriting using metaphors, humor, or idiomatic expressions is common in most marketing campaigns. However, might they be comprehended and accepted in a specific region or country, these phrases are challenging or even problematic to translate into other languages.

Without proper Thai marketing translation, they can become sensational or even unacceptable. Once a misunderstanding occurs, it could hurt your brand’s image in the Thailand market.

The best way to avoid this is to have a linguist advise you about the cultural context of all localized content. Besides, as mentioned above, Thailand is home to several cultures and traditions, so we suggest you get to know some when entering this market.

Below are some typical facts about Thai culture and traditions:

  • There are over 70 living languages in this country as of 2020. For Thai – the most commonly spoken tongue, there’s no space between words.
  • Thailand is rife with unique religions and superstitions, with festivals and celebrations being an important part of its culture.
  • Thai people tend to prefer middle-way communication styles.

To know more unique features of the Thai market and how to to deal with them, download our White Paper: Insightful Tips for Localization into Asian Languages.


4. Use Universal Symbols but Pay Attention to Slogans 

Slogans are an indispensable part of marketing, making the public remember your brand or product essence. It should be as universal as possible, yet a “one-size-fits-all” slogan can be problematic due to linguistic and cultural factors.

Even one of the most prestigious companies in the world made mistakes. When Pepsi used the slogan “Come Alive! You’re In The Pepsi Generation” in China, local people interpreted its meaning as something like “bringing ancestry back from graves”. The misinterpretation caused great loss for such a giant in the FMCG industry.

So, to stay away from trouble, you need to be conscious of slogans during your Thai marketing translation.


5. Apply Suitable Colors and Imagery

03 Thai marketing translation color

Colors and pictures are frequently used in advertising materials, and they can aid in the recognition of the brand. However, for a successful Thai marketing translation project, you should pay heed to the use of colors and images.

While many cultures identify certain colors with positive signs or emotions, the reverse is true in other countries. Similarly, there are pictures that do not appeal to overseas customers in a good way.

Take the white color as a typical example. In many Western cultures, white represents peace. However, this shade is associated with tragedy or sorrow in numerous Asian countries, including Thailand.


Get the Best Thai Marketing Translation at GTE Localize

We hope that this article has brought up the most practical notes about Thai marketing translation, and can support localizing your taglines, slogans, and all other marketing materials into Thai successfully.

If you are still looking for a professional agency to help you deal with this complicated task? Schedule a meeting with our Thai experts today for a free 1:1 consultancy.

With our wide network of marketing translators in the Thai language and proven positive translation results, GTE Localize is confident to be your trustworthy partner, who can offer a fast turnaround time and the most cost-saving Thai marketing translation services!

Thai marketing transslation