Transcreation is a more creative form of translation commonly used for copywriting and marketing content where the intended meaning of your message may be lost through literal translation.
Marketing messages are filled with creative language, symbolism, implied meaning and a range of other stylistic techniques that translation alone cannot convert into other languages. Transcreation provides the creative freedom to adapt and translate messages to ensure you get the intended emotional response from local audiences and, in this article, we clarify then things marketers need to know about this important creative language service.
Marketers promoting international brands need to understand the limitations of direct translation and why transcreation is required for content that uses creative language. To choose the right type of language service for different types of content, here are ten things marketers need to know about transcreation:
Creative language gets lost in translation
Creative language experiments with the standardised meanings of words and ideas – a problem for translation that aims to accurately convert standardised meanings into other languages.
Most marketing messages require transcreation
As a result, most marketing messages require transcreation, which provides the creative space required to experiment with the translated content to match the intended meaning, even if this differs from the literal meaning.
Transcreation is more than marketing translation
Although translating marketing content and copywriting is one of the most common tasks involved, transcreation looks at the whole message and adapts elements that cannot be translated – ideas, symbols, visuals, sounds, etc.
Audience response is the priority
Generating the desired response from each target audience is the priority in transcreation.
Your original message may change
This means the transcreated versions of your message may differ from the original – either to achieve the same response from a different language audience or to target an entirely different response where appropriate.
Cultural understanding plays a key role
Marketing messages are filled with wordplay, symbolism, stereotypes and other elements that are defined by our cultural and societal backgrounds – and may be lost, ineffective or even offensive in other language cultures.
Tone, voice & style are crucial
Transcreation preserves the tone, voice and style of your original message or allows you to create a new tone, voice and style for specific markets where required.
Brand perception is also considered
Aiming for the same brand perception in every market is not always the best approach and transcreation provides the creative freedom to adapt your messages for each audience. For example, leading sports brand Nike has a strong image amongst the elder population in South Korea interested in longevity, exercise and active wear.
Shorter messages can be the hardest to transcreat
Short messages like slogans, headings and product benefits pack a lot of creative, emotive language into a few words, making them particularly difficult to transcreate.
Early planning always pays off
Planning ahead is the best way to ease any translation challenges and this is especially important with transcreation, which can be one of the most demanding forms of translation.
Once they have a firm grasp of the ten points we listed above, marketers will be able to choose the right translation service for every type of content produced – whether that is a one-off e-mail campaign or a cross-channel OLV ad for different language markets.
Chances are, if you are working within a department where you and/or your team regularly publish marketing content, you are going to need transcreation services to some extent. When it comes to writing blog posts and the more informal side of marketing content, you may only need partial input from transcreation or localisation experts to adapt only parts of your content for relevancy.
Once you get into the more commercial side of the business where targeted messages like copy for landing pages and ads are required for the launch of international campaigns – or anything that involves brand storytelling – the need for a transcreation service increases. Then, you have the copywriting end of the spectrum, where translating product pages, calls-to-action and brand slogans is required for this type of work.
This is exactly where transcreation is crucial for getting your intended meaning across to target audiences and delivering messages that evoke the desired response you seek from your target audiences.
At translate plus, we work with different clients and leading brands, as well as partner with agencies that belong to Publicis Groupe’s advertising network, to deliver transcreation work for global marketing and advertising campaigns. If your company requires a more creative approach to translation for your next round of marketing content, feel free to contact us to discuss the requirements of your project(s) and next steps.