Monday, 3 October 2016


Last week, at the 2016 virtual conference for International Translation Day, one of the sessions was called Transcreation and copywriting, and I was all what?! (I don't know wheter to laugh or cry when these teenagerisms flow out of my fingers). Then I went and lost myself in Google (again). Some notes:
Transcreation is a term used chiefly by advertising and marketing professionals to refer to the process of adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context. A successfully transcreated message evokes the same emotions and carries the same implications in the target language as it does in the source language. Increasingly, transcreation is used in global marketing and advertising campaigns as advertisers seek to transcend the boundaries of culture and language. It also takes account of images which are used within a creative message, ensuring that they are suitable for the target local market.
Terms with meanings similar to transcreation include ‘creative translation’, ‘cross-market copywriting’, ‘international copy adaptation’, ‘free-style translation‘, ‘marketing translation’, ‘internationalization’, ‘localization’ and ‘cultural adaptation’. For each of these words and phrases, the thrust is similar: taking the essence of a message and re-creating it in another language or dialect.
Transcreation is a process whereby a highly specialized linguist recreates the source version to be appropriate for the target locale. They key term here is “recreates”, which means reinvent, create again, give new life to, reproduce. This does not mean that materials are created wholly from scratch but the source content can be changed substantially in the process.
Typically, the process of transcreation applies to taglines, product names, slogans and advertisement copy; anything highly branded. Transcreation can also be performed on creative briefs, brand and style guidelines.
Transcreation vs. Marketing Translation? How to Choose the Right Approach
Transcreation combines two words: translation and recreation. The process involves both. Sometimes called creative translation, the aim of transcreation is to adapt a message into another language. The transcreation process involves a lot more creativity than straight translation. There is not the obligation to stay linguistically faithful to the source text, as long as the key message is still conveyed.
Transcreation takes the source text and translates it so that the original message and intent are still explicit. This goes beyond just literal translation. The source text may need to be completely ‘recreated’ so it has the same effect on the target audience. The transcreation process can completely alter the structure, images, even the subject in the source text in order to fit with the target culture and evoke the same emotions.
What is Transcreation?
Three Differences between Transcreation and Translation
1. Source content
2. People
3. Timing
Three Differences between Transcreation and Translation
Transcreation (sometimes called creative translation) is developing or adapting your message for a specific target audience rather than just merely translating existing materials. Transcreation combines new content, culturally adapted content and straightforward translation. Transcreation can include copywriting, image selection, font changes and other transformations that tailor your message to the recipient.
Transcreation enhances your local brand while tailoring it to specific local markets. This service focuses on fluid readability rather than just an accurate word-for-word translation.[...]
5 Key Considerations for Transcreation
1.Transcreation should be performed only into native language.[...]
2.Transcreation provider should be in-country and share location with your target audience.[...]
3.Transcreation provider must be a content expert.[...]
4.Transcreation provider must have extensive copywriting expertise.[...]
5.Transcreation provider must have knowledge and understanding of the target market.[...]
You may wonder why a company would want transcreation at all: why don’t they just hire a team of copywriters in the target country who can produce the text from scratch? Well, most clients will want the ‘feel’ of the original text to be maintained, which requires someone who has an intimate knowledge of the source language – they will have to understand why the message works and produce something that is localised for the target language.
The goal of transcreation isn’t to say the same thing in another language. Indeed, it is often not possible to say exactly the same thing in another language. The aim of the game with transcreation is to get the same reaction in each language, something that translation in itself won’t be able to achieve.
Translation vs. Transcreation
Transcreation means ‘translating’ and ‘recreating’ the original text in a new language whilst making sure it is still appropriate in the context for which it is intended. The person producing the transcreation must understand the desired outcome thoroughly, and be given the freedom not only to translate the original but also to make significant changes to it in the process.
Most transcreation projects are undertaken when working with marketing teams.
What is transcreation and how is it different to translation?
Everyday is a wonder of new facts.

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