How YoTeLlevo should be translated to English

For a couple weeks I’ve been trying to find a good translation for the phrase YoTeLlevo.

YoTeLlevo (Yo te llevo) is the name of the business I’m building along with my brother and a friend. It is a service that connects travelers who need transportation in Cuba with independent drivers with a car who live in the island. The drivers will quote the travelers with prices and the travelers decide which driver to hire.

The more accurate translation of YoTeLlevo is I will take you, which obviously resembles a reply from one driver.

I know, the name I chose for the brand was not the wisest: it is very difficult to pronounce for English speakers (or for anyone?) and it actually doesn’t seem to relate to what the service is about -it makes more sense for Spanish speakers, though.

Anyway, I have to live with it now but I feel I need a nice English translation for the name.

So far I’ve been translating YoTeLlevo as I will take you there or I can take you there or Let me take you there, because those are the direct translations from Spanish to English. Either way, I felt like those were more service-centered names than customer-centered ones. I needed to find something that made our customers feel like superheroes, that our service would make them better.

I know making the customer quickly feel they are better along with the service is the job of the pitch phrase, but if you really care about making your business appealing to the customers, you have to take EVERYTHING to the extreme. So, besides finding a superheroe magical possion-like pitch phrase, I wanted the translation to the name itself to reflect the same spirit, that we can solve your problem.

It hit me the other day. It literally hit me, because I saw somewhere the first two words of what would become the English translation of YoTeLlevo from now on. The words were: go there.

Those two isolated words made a lot of sense to me, and also looked smooth. They also created a psicological effect in me which urged me to, well, go there.

The rest was straightforward: with me.

Go there with me. That is the new translation. Yo te llevo in Spanish, Go there with me in English. Neat and simple, isn’t it?

What is it so special about those four words? Well, the fact that it is four words instead of five to express the same idea is excuse enough to make it the winner.

But… a blog post about such a small thing?

Well, blog posts don’t always have to be about big things… plus I wanted to make my point on why the English name will be Go there with me instead of the more straightforward I will take you there, even if it is only to build consensus.

Before closing, I’m going to go mention two additional points as to why I prefer this version.

First of, don’t you notice more elegance in these four words? Go there with me.

Compare it to the more self-centered I will take you there. The first is easier, faster to say… fancier even. I would say it makes a better job than the previous ones. It is shorter and stickier, and leaves the self part to the end of the phrase instead of the beginning. Better!

Now think about what the primary goal of a traveler who is looking to hire a driver with a car is. It is not to hire the driver. The primary goal is to GET TO A PLACE, to ‘go there’. Yes, the SOLUTION is to BE TAKEN there by someone, but the GOAL is to ARRIVE in that place.

Hence, Go there with me aligns better with the travelers’ ultimate goal. It lets them know that they will fulfill their wish -go there- by means of using a driver -with me.

Better better better!!!

I’m keeping it.

2 thoughts on “How YoTeLlevo should be translated to English”

  1. Names are a very challenging decision - especially when you are targeting customer markets of different languages. Have you thought that the English doesn’t necessarily have to be a direct translation? Perhaps try “Take me away” It gives the idea of being guided to a different place - ultimately what many foreign tourists might be looking for out of a holiday, but keeps the focus on the drivers that form the core of your business.

    1. Hi Chantal, thanks for the insights.

      You are right! It is very difficult to pick a name when targeting markets in different languages. I totally like your idea of “Take me away” because it looks more customer centric, though I feel it reads like one is trying to run away from something :) Anyway, I’m still open to ideas and will definitely think about this one.

      I look forward to reading more insights from you, Chantal.

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