Translating Promotional and Advertising Texts by Ira Torresi: a review

I have been looking forward to reading this book and have greatly enjoyed it: Ira Torresi provides excellent advice and reference information on translation of a variety of promotional texts, from self-promotion (cover letters and resumes) to B2B and B2C texts. I've liked the detailed analysis of examples, as well as Torresi's practical suggestions on handling translation of different kinds of promotional materials.

For example, there are tips on conducting a detailed analysis of a source text style and on how to distinguish between the features and the “boost” elements of a text and identify a need to increase or decrease the amount of boost in translation according to the conventions of the target language.

I've found particularly interesting that for B2B and especially for B2C texts Torresi recommends using Hofsede's cultural dimensions theory to analyze the required changes that would make the text convincing and effective in the target language. Uncertainty avoidance and power distance indices are particularly relevant. I've always thought that Hofstede's theory is fascinating and am looking forward to implementing it in my work.

An excellent example of the cultural dimensions theory relevance provided by Torresi is the difference in translation of an Italian copy of a clinic into English and into Russian: while the English language speakers would expect a friendly, approachable copy tone, the opposite would be true for the speakers of Russian, where a more official-sounding language is expected.

Another, more recent, case in point is the text on the Monterey Institute of International Studies website, where in the Russian copy the original's friendly and approachable tone has been retained, while Russian universities' website copy tends to be more official (see one of the Moscow State University websites, or the website of the Moscow State Linguistic University, my alma mater, for examples).

Interested in buying the book? It can be purchased either here:, via the links provided on the website, or via the Intransbooks website at

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Ekaterina Howard, business, marketing and real estate translations from English to Russian and from German to Russian

Ekaterina Howard, Pinwheel Translations

English to Russian and German to Russian translator working with business, marketing and real estate materials. ATA and CATI member.