Translating jokes into Chinese

In Magnolia 5 technical documentation we have a page titled Location, location, location. The page explains how the system identifies where you are with a URL history fragment.


I am in the Pages app, editing a page named about:

I am in the Contacts app, viewing a contact named ldavinci:

Very nifty! This means you can bookmark any location and go back there instantly.

The document about location fragments is very technical. But the title is a pun. The phrase "location, location, location" is used in real estate for the three most important factors in determining the desirability of a property. The phrase was coined by Harold Samuel, a British real estate tycoon.

This in an example of a safe joke technical text. Native English speakers get the punchline and have a giggle. But even non-native readers get the point. For them, the repetition emphasizes importance.

Then things got tricky.

How do you translate the page title into another language? We are translating technical documentation into Simplified Chinese and we need ground rules regarding what is translatable.

What would you do?
  1. Translate the title as is? (Location, location location)
  1. Remove the repetition and translate "Location" once?
  1. Keep both languages? We do this with proper nouns that are not translatable such as the Pulse messaging center (Pulse信息中心).
We went with option 2. The pun just doesn't work in Chinese, nor does the repetition really. It was better to focus on clear message than muddling it with an obscure pun.

But we sure had fun finding the solution. :)