The Linguistic screening process entails evaluation of a product name, company name or service name that will be in English yet used in another country. We have 2 types of screening used in international market research:
- High level gut check that is a Pass or Fail with a report on the reasons for the Fail. This is best used when you have many names and countries and are want an initial screen to rule out any immediate red flags on names you can remove from your choices.
- Deeper dive screening of each name that also involves research in the language to uncover existing associations. This is best used when you have narrowed your choices of names and want to ensure a thorough evaluation.
So who is the translator that is best used for the linguistic screening process?
- A background in linguistics, usually an educational degree. Why? This person is used to pulling words apart and evaluating the semantics
- A researcher. This person has great analytical skills and an investigative nature to go deeper, think through questions, find information
- A professional linguist. This may be a professional translator or a language educator. They deal with languages every day
The value of project management in the linguistic screening process
We have proprietary templates that we have designed to guide and control the process of a product name evaluation. It’s important to keep in mind that this is not product name translation but product name testing of the English name. We provide these templates to each linguist with the information they need to do the linguistic screening process. Our templates contain a variety of questions and statements. On the deeper dive evaluation, we ask the questions in several different ways. Why? Because there are different learning styles. Asking questions in different ways makes a reader (in this case our product name tester) open up different areas of their thinking about a subject. It encourages the linguist to think through the process in multiple ways.
Fun and interesting learnings that have resulted in the linguistic screening process:
Phonology – the sound of the spoken word. This may be part of a word as broken into syllables as well or the whole spoken word. The positioning of the mouth can elicit an angry feeling or emotion in some languages
Slang – the informal usage of words. There have been some interesting reveals of English words having a slang meaning in another language
Associations and connotations – inappropriate meanings that may be attached to that word in another language. This is the main thing that a screening will evaluate.
Download our infographic on the linguistic screening process
Are you a linguist that has these abilities and experience and want to join our team. Contact us!
Have a linguistic screening project and want to know more about the product name testing process? Have a client for whom you are developing a name and you want them to consider this process? Give us a call or send an email for a quote or have a conversation to learn more.