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50 Chinese Translations for Foreign Brands

2016-03-28 10:32:36Share:

  In the past, plenty of foreign companies avoided choosing a Chinese name; they worried it would damage their brand recognition. These days, however, it's crucial to have a proper Chinese name if you want to do business here. Without a Chinese name, it's hard to sell your products online and word-of-mouth will basically be non-existent. After all, how can they talk about your company if they can't say your name? Helping foreign companies choose a great Chinese name is now big business, as marketing and consulting firms are ready and willing to assist – for a reasonable fee, of course.

 

  There are a few different approaches to finding a Chinese name, which we can see clearly in three fast food chains. Some companies choose a Chinese name that simply sounds sort of like the original without any special meaning, such as McDonald's (麦当劳 – mài dāng láo). The name literally means "wheat serve as labor," which doesn't exactly describe fast food. Others go for a literal translation, as we can see in the name of Burger King (汉堡王 – hàn bǎo wáng). Finally, some companies go for a combination with a Chinese name that sounds similar and can also have a special meaning. For example, the famous Subway (赛百味 – sài bǎi wèi) sandwich shops – the Chinese name is a phonetic match, and the characters 百味 can be translated as "100 flavors" – a good connotation for a place where you can design your sandwich any way you like.

 

 

  For some more examples, here are the Chinese names of 50 famous foreign companies, split into five categories:

 

  TECH

 

  Apple (苹果 – píng guǒ)

  Microsoft (微软 – wēi ruǎn)

  Google (谷歌 – gǔ gē)

  Facebook (脸书 – liǎn shū)

  Amazon (亚马逊 – yà mǎ xùn)

  Sony (索尼 – suǒ ní)

  Nokia (诺基亚 – nuò jī yà)

  Canon (佳能 – jiā néng)

  Samsung (三星 – sān xīng)

  LinkedIn (领英 – lǐng yīng)

 

  CARS

 

  BMW (宝马 – bǎo mǎ)

  Audi (奥迪 – ào dí)

  Ford (福特 – fú tè)

  Toyota (丰田 – fēng tián)

  Ferrari (法拉利 – fǎ lā lì)

  Mercedes Benz (梅赛德斯奔驰 – méi sài dé sī bēn chí)

  Volkswagen (大众 – dà zhòng)

  Honda (本田 – běn tián)

  Nissan (尼桑 – ní sāng)

  Acura (讴歌 – ōu ɡē)

 

  FASHION

 

  Nike (耐克 – nài kè)

  Adidas (阿迪达斯 – ā dí dá sī)

  Armani (阿玛尼 – ā mǎ ní)

  Gucci (古奇 – gǔ qí)

  Levi's (李维斯 – li wéi sī)

  Rolex (劳力士 – láo lì shì)

  Burberry (巴宝莉 – ba bǎo lì)

  Chanel (香奈儿 – xiāng nài er)

  Ikea (宜家 – yi jiā)

  Louis Vuitton (路易威登 – lù yì wēi dēng)

 

  FOOD/DRINK

 

  Coca-Cola (可口可乐 – kě kǒu kě lè)

  Pepsi (百事可乐 – bǎi shì kě lè)

  McDonald's (麦当劳 – mài dāng láo)

  Burger King (汉堡王 – hàn bǎo wáng)

  KFC (肯德基 – kěn dé jī)

  Pizza Hut (必胜客 – bì shèng kè)

  Starbucks (星巴克 – xīng ba kè)

  Subway (赛百味 – sài bǎi wèi)

  Lay's (乐事 – lè shì)

  Budweiser (百威 – bǎi wēi)

 

  FINANCE

 

  Visa (维士 – wéi shì)

  Mastercard (万事达 – wàn shì dá)

  American Express (美国运通 – měi guó yùn tōng)

  HSBC (汇丰银行 – huì fēng yín háng)

  Citibank (花旗银行 – huā qí yín háng)

  Ernst & Young (安永 – ān yǒng)

  KPMG (毕马威 – bì mǎ wēi)

  Goldman Sachs (高盛 – gāo shèng)

  JP Morgan (JP摩根 – JP mó gēn)

  PricewaterhouseCoopers (普华永道 – pǔ huá yǒng dào)

The Imperial Gardens