METM23 presentation

Beautiful language: unmasking the world of cosmetics translation

Ruth Simpson, Chablis, France

On fleek, maskne, skinimalism: beauty buzzwords are a breed of their own. And if you’re translating into English, your ideas might appear dull when compared with the inventive copy crafted by native English marketing teams. In this session, Ruth will explain how she came to work in the world of skincare and beauty translation, how she stays abreast of market trends, and how she keeps a firm grasp on the latest beauty terms. Drawing on objective facts and her own experience, Ruth will cover information about the beauty market in general, what role translation plays in that market, and what you can do to lift your own cosmetics translations to new creative heights. Specializing in beauty means keeping up with trends and fads that move at breakneck speed, while tuning in to vastly different brand voices, tailoring your text to specific markets, and getting your imaginative juices flowing. But creativity isn’t everything. The cosmetics market has something for everyone: legal, medical, and scientific knowledge are all in demand too, so it’s not just for lovers of slogans and descriptive language. Attendees should expect to leave with an understanding of the beauty and cosmetics market today, insight into what it’s like to translate in that market (with linguistic and business-related examples), and an idea of the advantages and disadvantages of working with beauty brands.
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About the presenter

Ruth Simpson is lucky enough to specialize in the world of luxury: beauty and wine. After several years as an English language trainer at L’Oréal’s Luxury Division in Paris, she became a full-time translator in 2008. She works regularly with brands from all segments of the beauty world, including skincare, fragrance, and makeup. She is also a singer, violinist, and ukulele player, and has directed the METM choir for several years.