The touch point for persuasion does not reside in the language but in what the language envelopes. A language is not merely the letters, the words and their grammar. It is the cultural DNA of a consumer world.
To a Bengali or an Oriya, to a Marathi or an Ohomiya, the soft points of titillation are rooted in their native culture encoded in their own language. Sure, the Hindi ad can do a reasonable approximation but it possibly can never do as great a job of persuasion in Bengal or Assam as it will do in UP or Bihar. Even in these days of satellite transmission, enticing someone still needs tribal idioms. Translated advertising thus can never be an adequate surrogate
Needless to say - ads translated from other languages such as English, Hindi, Tamil, Swahili and Zulu to Kannada simply don't serve the basic purpose. The further the language and culture of the original ad is from Kannada language and culture, the less the translation achieves. There are cases where neither comprehension nor persuasion are achieved.
Excuse us, but does Pamela Anderson's ad in the picture serve the intended purpose for a Kannadiga reader? What the hell do the words "hosa banna" hanging around a naked (yes, that's naked here in Karnataka) girl's navel mean? Amidst a people who worship food (which is already vegetarian on average) and women, what's a cabbage leaf doing around the private parts of a naked girl? What the hell is going on? This one has actually achieved neither the intended comprehension nor the intended persuasion. Kannadigas comprehend something different here, are persuaded to do something different here.
For those of you who have noticed, there's talk of a "Dhanteras" in the papers (both Kannada and English) in Karnataka now. What the hell is that, and why should Kannadigas part with their hard earned money on that crap pouring in from North India? And what the hell is a Chashmish, and why should I go to Titan Eye + for that (read ENGURU story below)?
Isn't it time some Kannadigas saw the point and started decent ad agencies which understand what it takes to pursuade Kannadigas? For one thing, there's lots of money in it. And for another, those agencies fight Hindi Imposition by way of making money. Lots of it.
For the full news item, read: Lost in translation from Hindi
Also read on ENGURU: ಹಿಂದೀನೇ ಕನ್ನಡ ಲಿಪಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದರೆ ಅದು ಕನ್ನಡ ಅನ್ನಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲ್ಲ