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Creative translation: when professionalism and expertise are a must

Published on March 12th, 2019

Simple translation might not always be right for your brand – this is why creative translation aims to go above and beyond when it comes to conveying your message.

Depending on your translation needs, you might need to go on a more specialised path. This is especially true when working with multilingual adaptation of whole advertising campaigns and even whole brands.

Previously, we have written about legal translation, medical translation, automotive translation and other types of specialised translation services. Much like those, creative translation caters to certain types of projects within the marketing and advertising fields.

In its essence, creative translation is a freer interpretation of a slogan, brand message, web page or a whole campaign. It deals with adapting creative material to multilingual target audiences within international markets. Unlike transcreation, however, where we provide multiple versions, back-translations and rationale, our creative translation service offers a single-version translation, but one in which you are happy for us to take an approach which might differ from the source text. This allows for a freer style which embodies the message of the original, without sticking too closely to its structure. This would be completely unsuitable for something like a technical manual – where the translation must accurately reflect the source as closely as possible – but is absolutely perfect for something like a blog post on your website.

Creative translation requires a certain type of professional to handle it. For marketing and advertising, creative translation requires the right creative approach and a high level of target audience adaptation. To achieve those, professional creative translators who would handle your project would need to check a few boxes.

  • Local: When adapting creative content to a local market, your safest bet is a native speaker who lives and breathes the local culture. Experienced travellers often say “always explore with a local” – this is absolutely valid with creative translation as well.
  • Strong copywriter: Professional creative translators often have experience in copywriting as well. It takes one to know one, so getting a local copywriter/translator to adapt your creative content would be a smart move.
  • Brand and brief savvy: Creative translation requires a deep understanding of the source material and where it originates, ideally including the brief it derived from. As this might be both very industry-specific and cultural, your translator needs to be able to get into your brand identity and extract the essential message it tries to convey both from the source material and from the brand direction itself.
  • Discreet: All professional translators must tick that last box. When working with intellectual property under the copyright law, it is important that the creative translator you have partnered with will understand the work going into producing creative material.

But creative translation incorporates different fields as well. Translating creative material for FMCG, for example, would be completely different from translating creative material for pharma. This is why a creative translator experienced in your field would help adapt your brand message even more smoothly.

Choosing a creative translator to partner with is an important step of bringing your brand strategy to a global market. What is more, choosing the right translation team can help improve your brand strategy further. This is why when thinking about creative translation, it is important to think about who exactly will be doing it and how can they further contribute to your brand going international.

We work with over 11,000 linguists worldwide, which means our team of dedicated professionals can help you find the best creative translation partners. Do not hesitate to contact them today.

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Posted on: March 12th, 2019