Linguists Seek More Accurate, Culturally Sensitive Kazakh-Language Advertising

Due to problems with poor translation of advertising text into Kazakh, Almaty public activists have suggested creating the job of advertising manager in Kazakh language, reported tengrinews.kz. The suggestion was made during a roundtable devoted to the difficulties of developing the Kazakh language in the urban environment and the participants believe the new profession will solve the issue.

kazakh ad

According to experts Kazakh advertising content experiences the lack of quality today.

“As a solution, we are considering the introduction of a new occupation. The specialists will learn not only the language, but also the particularity of Kazakh culture, as the advertising should be targeted to the Kazakh-speaking segment of the population,” explained Deputy Director of the Akhmet Baitursynov Institute of Linguistics Anar Fazylzhanova.

According to her, a specialist who has excellent Kazakh language skills can not only improve the appearance of the city, but also increase the sales of the advertised goods and services. Fazylzhanova noted the absence of a terminology committee in Kazakhstan and the necessity to solve this problem in the near future.

The institute’s chief scientist Nurkeldy Uali also proposed reforming the philological education.

“For example, in Russia a philologist of the Russian language studying programme has 42 various branches, such as speech language therapist, scholar assistant, philologist and advertising manager. Unfortunately, we continue studying in accordance with the traditional Soviet educational system. The demand for Kazakh language content is growing, but the number of philologists who could meet these needs is very little,” said Uali.

Answering the critique concerning regular mistakes on advertising billboards in Kazakh, the director general of the Kazakh alliance of advertising companies Bolat Kozhakov explained the main reason why translation fails. According to him, most of the advertising slogans are translated from English to Russian and only then to Kazakh. Moreover, all advertising drafts should be approved by the city Department for Language Development before printing.

“The responsibility lies on those who check these drafts and approve them. I’m not sure that the city department representatives who are responsible for Kazakh advertising are perfectly competent to manage this task,” said Kozhakov.

Kozhakov also mentioned the recent proposal of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs to reduce the number of licensing procedures for companies.

“In this regard, our organisation was asked to transfer full powers to local centres for the development of language or other expert committees for approving the advertising texts. We don’t need people who can speak Kazakh language, but real professionals who are able to do a high-quality translation,” concluded Kozhakov.

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