English Brands And Slogans In The Korean Language


The article is about the study of English-speaking brands in the Korean language. The authors describe ways to translate brands and slogans from English to Russian. The article examines how translation affects Korean adaptation of popular English-speaking brands. The article examines how the translation and adaptation of advertising in any language contribute to the successful promotion of the brand in various countries. The authors study issues related to the problem of adapting advertising texts into another language. The relevance of the research lies in the fact that English as the language of international communication and the culture of English-speaking countries has a great influence on the development of Oriental culture and Oriental languages through borrowings. Advertising was no exception. American clothing and cosmetics brands are extremely popular in Korea. Advertising of English-speaking brands in Korea is becoming more popular. At the same time, linguists' interest in the problem of adapting brands to the Eastern language and Eastern culture is increasing. The study of advertising provides an excellent opportunity for cross-cultural research because advertising carries the cultural code of the country of origin. Each country has its distinctive style of advertising, determined by the nature of national identity, historical advertising traditions, economic and social realities. From the point of view of intercultural communication, the most important thing is to preserve the semantic features of the source text.

Keywords: Advertising English borrowings, brand, English, Korean


We live in a complex information field. Advertising has become so much an integral part of our lives that we use some advertising phrases along with sayings and quotes from movies. Today, the advertising slogan is an important component of advertising art (Alekseeva, 2004).

The study of advertising provides great opportunities for cross-cultural research since advertising carries the cultural code of the country of origin. Each country has its special advertising style: features of national identity, historical advertising traditions, economic and social realities. The mentality of a nation and the conditions in which it lives are both the reasons and the environment for the existence of exactly the advertising that exists in any given country at any given moment. The active functioning of foreign language vocabulary in the advertising slogan set new tasks for researchers: to study in detail the influence of the new foreign language vocabulary of the donor language on the recipient's language systems, and on the other hand, to identify patterns of integration of borrowings into the recipient's language system. Our life plays a special role in advertising, and the advertising text performs an important communication function. Often the entire advertising text consists only of the advertised proper name and its accompanying slogan since the important quality of the advertising text is the maximum of information with a minimum of words (Samovar & Porter, 1994).

There is an assumption that the first slogans appeared out of necessity around the middle of the 19th century. Because the space in newspapers was limited to only a few lines per ad, business people had to come up with a short but succinct ad. Creative businessmen understood that this should hook readers. Perhaps this is how the first slogans appeared. The etymology of the term "slogan" comes from the English word slog, which means "to hit hard". A slogan is a concise, easily perceived formulation of an advertising idea that should "hit" the brain of consumers.

An advertising slogan is a short memorable phrase that conveys the main idea of an advertising campaign in a vivid, figurative form. The task of slogans is to form a certain image of a product or a desired associative series among consumers, leading to trust and purchase. The classic full advertising text consists of four main elements. which are almost always used in advertising: title, subtitle, main text, advertising slogan (Bernadskaya, 2012).

When we translate an advertisement, the text is transmitted to another language and another culture. In advertising, it is very important to create a very good impression, it is necessary to take into account the cultural characteristics of the target audience. Therefore, the translation of advertising should be handled by a person who is well acquainted with the culture of the target audience, with its modern realities. In particular, humour can be used in advertising (Porcescu, 2011). But jokes are made differently in different cultures, so the translator is obliged to catch the humour in the original and adequately convey it into the target language. American brands are very popular in most countries of the world, which makes it necessary to adapt the brand name and its slogan to the language of the country where it is advertised. This also applies to Korean advertising. South Korean manufacturers and brands take advertising very seriously (Morozova, 1998).

Problem Statement

Most advertisers are foreign companies, so sooner or later most copywriters have to face the task of adapting a slogan in a foreign language (Chao & Lin, 2017). Almost everyone who has dealt with English-language slogans notes the difference in the length of the original phrase and the number of words that appear during translation. A simple, though grammatically correct translation of a foreign-language slogan, does not always give the result that advertisers are waiting for. Especially if we are talking about a phrase in which, in addition to describing the marketing advantages of the product, there is an artistic technique that will be spoiled by a literal translation.

Advertising is aimed at achieving a certain goal. The main purpose of any advertising campaign as a whole (including the advertising text) is to influence the consumer, including both informing him about a new product, forming a favourable impression of him and convincing him of the need to purchase the advertised product (Cui, 2019a). In this regard, the main task of an advertising specialist and translator is highlighted, who must competently adapt the text of one linguistic culture for another. To do this, specialists must know the peculiarities of translating advertising text from one language to another through the prism of a linguopragmatic approach (Holmquist & Park, 2013).

When we translate advertising texts and slogans, it is necessary, if possible, to preserve the structure of the slogan translation, the components of which are designed to have a rational and emotional impact on the target consumer and motivate him to buy. Therefore, the main task of translators is to search in foreign-language advertising texts and slogans for the correct use of words that should contain an adequate reflection of the surrounding reality in language and speech. There are many works devoted to the translation of advertising slogans into various languages. Some linguists believe that the translation of advertising texts is significantly different from the translation of works of art. These differences are manifested in the different communicative orientation of texts, in the form of their translation, as well as in the possibility of using different language means (Cui, 2019b). However, it should be noted that we have not found a single work devoted to the translation of advertising brands and advertising slogans from English to Korean. The article is devoted to a study aimed at studying the effect of mixing English used in Korean advertising, where English is used as a foreign language. And it focuses on how English is incorporated into the local language in advertising. We also examined how the globalization of the advertising language affects consumers' responses to an advertising message (Terskikh, 2020).

Research Questions

At the present stage of the development of marketing and advertising technologies, the main task of an advertising text is not to translate the text in its usual sense, but to convey the individuality, uniqueness, brightness of the advertising message. For the advertising text to fulfil its communicative function, a simple translation of the text is not enough, the text must be included in the cultural sphere of the target language. The stages of the process of equivalent translation of advertising texts include:

  • search for specific features of the advertising language;
  • understanding their impact on the rational and emotional spheres of the recipient's consciousness;
  • and further elimination of the linguistic and cultural-ethnic barrier between communicants (Putri & Anandya, 2019).

In such a situation, the translator has to solve such a task as predicting the linguistic and ethnic reaction of the average buyer to the text of the message in the target language. This assumption is based on the translator's knowledge of the characteristic features of national psychology, differences in cultural and historical traditions. When we consider the adaptation of foreign-language advertising slogans in the context of cross-cultural communication, it is necessary to take into account not so much the figurative and hidden meanings of language units as the figurative content of the advertising text as a whole, i.e. associative links linking an advertising message with the phenomena of a given culture (Zhang & Wang 2017). Such figurative content is primarily due to the national-linguistic picture of the world of representatives of the cultural and linguistic group within which the advertising slogan was created. As already mentioned, intercultural communication and translation, as well as adaptation, are inseparable concepts, since translation is a kind of interlanguage and intercultural communication. The translation of an advertising slogan is a very complex creative process that requires the translator not only to know the language but also to know the culture, mentality, traditions and extralinguistic realities of the target audience.

We analyzed advertising slogans and identified ways to adapt them to the Korean language. When we study advertising slogans, we may notice that some of them are completely adapted from English, but it should be added that for a native Korean speaker this slogan is understandable. When we work with a text by its intent, the source selects linguistic units for transmitting information and organizes them in the utterance in such a way as to establish the necessary semantic connections. As a result, the created text acquires a certain pragmatic potential – the ability to have a certain communicative effect on the receptor. The ability of the text to affect the receptor, to cause the receptor's relation to the reported (to produce a communicative effect) is called the pragmatic aspect of the pragmatic potential of the text (pragmatics).

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the work is to identify ways to translate English-language texts into Korean.

Research Methods

We have identified areas of human activity by the method of continuous sampling, which particularly affects the standard of person living. These areas include: clothing footwear and cosmetic brands (Pritchard & Cook 2020).

When the translator translates advertising slogans, the translator must take care of achieving the desired effect on the recipient, depending on the purpose of the translation, either reproducing the pragmatic potential of the original or modifying it. Analyzing the ways of adapting English-language advertising texts when translated into Korean, it should be noted that there is a proportion of texts that do not require pragmatic adaptation because they reflect universal concepts that do not cause difficulties in understanding by native speakers of any culture (Sun & Liang 2013). In this case, the method of the literal translation will take place when translating such advertising. The literal translation of the advertising text will consist in preserving the original form of the message without the use of translation transformation and linguistic and cultural adaptation of the text. The translated text will be easily understandable to readers of the target language.


In connection with entering international markets, Korean companies also face the problem of translating and adapting advertising slogans. As the analysis shows, today the majority of domestic companies use advertising slogans in their promotion, as a rule, give an accurate translation without any changes. The examples, which we can analyze, show that the adaptation of slogans and the names of the brands themselves occurs by either a literal translation of the slogan from English. We can also say that if it concerns the brand, the adaptation takes place by letter-by-letter borrowing.

We will give some examples of our research’s results for better understanding:

  • 콜로썰 워터프루프 마스카라 – colossal waterproof mascara;

In our opinion, the main idea of the original English-language slogan was the naturalness of cosmetics, which emphasized natural beauty, and did not introduce artificially.

The translator preferred to translate this slogan letter by letter to preserve the brand identity, thereby not losing its popularity. The translator felt that it was impossible to translate this word game into Korean, and it was very difficult to come up with another one that played the brand name just as effectively. In our opinion, in translation, it is possible to replace some English words with Korean, for example, in the first example, instead of the word 콜로썰, we could use the word 거대한 (huge, colossal), in the third example, instead of the word 스트로베리, we can use 딸기 (strawberry), but for a better sound, the first option was left.

  • 패션 브로우 울트라 플러피 – Fashion Brow Ultra Fluffy;
  • 베리 스트로베리 맥플러리 - Very strawberry McFlurry;
  • 베이컨 에그 맥머핀 - bacon egg McMuffin;
  • 유틸리티 헴프 쿨진 쇼츠 – Utility hemp cool jeans shorts;
  • 오리지널 핏 햄드 진 쇼츠 – Original fit hamed jean short.

The Nike brand's slogan sounds like "Just do it".This slogan is one of the most memorable slogans in the world. We met an adapted translation of the slogan into Korean - 그냥 해. However, in Korean sources, we found a different version of the slogan adaptation, in which the original text was transcribed - 저스트 두 잇.

It can also be noted that the Adidas brand slogan sounds "Impossible is nothing". In Korean, we met an adapted version of the translation "불가능은 없다!", but there is no transcribed version.

It should be noted, that we found several examples in which the company name was transcribed and the slogan was translated into Korean, for example,

  • McDonald's (맥도날드) – I'm lovin' it (나는 그것을 좋아해);
  • KFC (in this example, the company name has not been changed, since KFC is an abbreviation of Kentucky Fried Chicken) - Finger Lickin Good (손가락 빨 만큼 맛있다);
  • Burger King (버거킹) - Have It Your Way (당신이 원하는 대로 드세요);
  • Subway (서브웨이) - Eat Fresh (신선하게 먹자);
  • Apple (애플) – Think different (다르게 생가하라);
  • Red Bull (레드불) - Gives you wiiings (날개를 펼쳐줘요);
  • Monster Energy (몬스터) - Unleash the Beast (여성을 깨워라);
  • Coca-Cola (코카콜라) - It's the real thing (코카콜라는 진짜);
  • Sprite (스프라이트) - Obey your thirst (갈증에 따레라);
  • M&M’s (in this example, the name of the brand was also not changed, since M&M's is an abbreviation of the surnames of the two founders of the company - "Mars and Murry") - Melts in your mouth, not in your hands (입에서 녹습니다, 손이 아니라요).

In addition to interpreting foreign-language slogans, there may also be cases when, for greater efficiency, significant advertising units that are missing in the original should be added to them. Therefore, the next important point of adapting foreign-language slogans is not to copy but to interpret. Also, it should be noted that we have discovered stylistic techniques that are used in the translation of advertising slogans. For example:

The slogan BassBudsuses alliteration and in Korean, the slogan sounds like this: 이지엔  6- 마트 대에  맞는 한 치법

The Diet Coke slogan uses an anaphora (a stylistic device consisting of repeating the same words, sentences, sounds at the beginning of adjacent or closely spaced lines, stanzas or phrases):. In Korean, the capital of the Republic of Korea, Seoul, is used instead of the word NO In Korean it sounds like this: 서울보다 서울이 가깝다!

The most significant indicator of an advertising message can be called the presence of combinations of verbs. Here are examples of verbal combinations in advertising texts:

· Come to where the flavour is (Marlboro).

· 함께할수록,행복은 올라갑니다.

If we consider advertising texts in English, we can conclude that the most commonly used verbs in the imperative form include: Buy, try, ask, receive, look, call, feel, taste, look, smell, find, listen, drive, come on, look, drink, do, open, start, enjoy.

In the texts of Korean advertising, you can also highlight some of the verbs most often used in the imperative form when creating ads: 만들다, 싸다, 하다, 올라가다, 증가하다.

При написании рекламных текстов прилагательные и наречия используются для описания различных характеристик рекламируемого товара: формы, размера, качества, стоимости, эмоций, вызываемых этим товаром. В англоязычной рекламе часто используемые прилагательные включают: естественные, чувственные, невинные, страстные, романтичные, таинственные и т.д.: 예쁘다, 건강하다, 완벽하다, 최고하다, 크다, 행복하다.

Adjectives and adverbs are included in advertising messages to convey emotional information that can attract potential buyers and interest them. Metaphors also perform this function of the advertising text.


Modern science highly appreciates the importance of advertising in the communicative space as one of the most powerful levers for the formation and modelling of public opinion. The advertising text and the brand itself, regardless of the communication channel, carry, if not the main, then a sufficiently serious informational and, in particular, emotional load to be of particular interest as an object of research (Lee, 2006).

The amount of cognitive information that advertising contains is small. This is the name of the company, the name of the product, its technical characteristics, price, contact information: phone numbers, addresses. All this does not cause difficulties in translation. But in advertising texts, the resources of fiction are widely used, literary allusions, hints of phraseological units and other techniques are used in it, giving the advertisement brightness, making it memorable, but difficult to translate. In such cases, great creative potential is required from the translator. Having researched and analyzed the questions posed in the work, we conclude that for optimal translation of the advertising text, its adaptation is necessary. Only such a pragmatic equivalent between the original and the translation determines the communicative effect of advertising (Olavarrieta et al., 2020).

To sum up, it should be noted that due to the popularity of American brands in the international market, there is no need to translate brands by the description method. The transcription method is enough for adaptation and understanding American brands to the Korean. The use of English is not always intended to convey information about products but is intended for other purposes, for example, to give potential buyers the impression that products are of good and reliable quality, given the fact that usually the high quality is automatically associated with the use of English for most Koreans.

It should be noted that this area of research is it is relevant and promising for us since the translation of advertising slogans has always raised many questions and problems that domestic and foreign linguists are working on. The results of our research can be used when creating advertising texts and slogans, as well as when performing translations on this topic.


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03 June 2022

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Sergeevna, K. V., Sergeevna, A. E., & Victorovna, G. T. (2022). English Brands And Slogans In The Korean Language. In N. G. Bogachenko (Ed.), AmurCon 2021: International Scientific Conference, vol 126. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 401-408). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2022.06.45