Translating Kansas into Japanese (J)

We recently translated a brochure for a new spirit whiskey called Kansas Clean Distilled (Fabulous American Beverages Inc.). The brochure contained an explanation of the Kansas branding strategy, which is intended for resellers and marketing people. As a marketing piece, it contained a higher number of the usual hurdles that translators face—references to US-only social trends, slick advertising copy, industry jargon, humor—just about everything that defies translation.
In these situations, the smart translator switches gears from translation to trans-creation, digesting the concept and feel of the piece and finding suitable phrases in the target language that fit the context and have a similar nuance.
By way of example, the English text talked about the “sessionable taste and flavor characteristics” of Kansas. Sessionable? You have to go to the Urban Dictionary to find out that this means “suitable for a lengthy drinking session.” So, the question is, how do you translate a word for a concept that does not exist in another language? In the end, we went with something that translates back into English as “a flavor that you won’t get tired of.” Maybe that is not a perfect fit, but it is better than many of the alternatives. For instance, we could have introduced the term “sessionable” transliterated into Japanese and explained in the text, thereby introducing a new word into the Japanese lexicon. But this would detract from the purpose of the piece, which is to deliver a message about a product, not educate.
This is a good example of a basic concept in translation: bringing the text to the reader (our choice), or bringing the reader to the text (the alternative). As with most things in life, the approach chosen depends on the purpose. Kampai!