By Araks-Naomi Zainali

ShamrocksExporting abroad? Colours are easily overlooked when transcreating marketing materials, but bear in mind that each can carry a range of opposing associations. While at one end of the world a colour can herald goodwill and invite friendship, at the other it can cause unintended, lasting offence. An accredited transcreator can advise you how to avoid disastrous faux pas and instead exploit colour symbolism to your advantage.

Take green. Here in the West its only negative connotation, courtesy of Shakespeare’s Othello, is the emotion jealousy. Green conjures mainly happy thoughts of rebirth, renewal and immortality, of the verdant scene of a spring awakening. It is the colour of youthful inexperience, innocence and naivety. For the medieval poets the troubadours, who performed their dulcet melodies throughout the courts of Italy, France and Spain, nature’s hue symbolized budding love.

Green MambaAcross the Islamic world, green has religious importance. It will be worn by the inhabitants of paradise, as revealed in the Qur’an.  The holy book is often bound in green, and the colour features on many a national flag.

But travel to some Far Eastern countries and green drops its more auspicious associations to acquire ones of sickness and poison. In China, a man sporting a green hat is an unlikely sight; this item of clothing suggests the man’s wife might be cheating on him.

As the Emerald Isle of Ireland braces itself for a Guinness fuelled-St Patrick’s Day, what do you associate with the colour green?

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