We know how confusing the terms translation, localisation and transcreation can be when you band them together. Understanding the difference between them is one thing, but knowing when to use each of them is something else entirely.
Basically, you can think of transcreation as the more creative cousin of translation. When there’s complex meaning or creative language that can’t quite be translated, transcreation gets the call – and here are three moments every brand needs to use transcreation services.
One: Introducing your brand to a new culture for the first time
This is perhaps the most obvious and important time you’ll need transcreation services. When you’re introducing your brand to a new culture for the first time, you’ll want to run a fine-tooth comb through your entire corporate image.
In these cases you’ll almost certainly be using translation, localisation and transcreation together. However, transcreation will focus on things like your brand slogan, product/service names, promotion titles and various other elements.
Any time you had to sit down and get creative with naming something or call in the copywriters, you’ll need transcreation when it comes to translating into other languages.
Two: Taking an advertising campaign to foreign-speaking markets
Once you’ve got your brand established in overseas markets, you’ll be launching various advertising campaigns to promote your brand. Sometimes you may want to create 100% unique campaigns for certain markets but more often you’ll be converting a single campaign for multiple regions or countries.
Once again, you’ll be calling in the transcreation services team to guarantee your ad is equally effective in every market. That slogan will need looking at, for sure, but the entire script of your ad should be considered – especially if it contains metaphors or other linguistic elements that might not work outside English.
Three: Releasing creative works in foreign languages
When a film, video game, book or any other kind of creative work is released overseas there are various elements that need transcreation. First of all, the title has to be examined to ensure it makes the same kind of impact in other languages.
In many cases, the entire piece of work needs to be carefully considered. Imagine an entire novel filled with metaphors or a film script relying on English puns that don’t translate – there are all kinds of linguistic features we don’t even realise we’re using half the time.
None of this is reserved for filmmakers or prolific writers either. The same considerations should be applied to any piece of creative work that’s translated into other languages – eBooks, video games, marketing material, videos and anything else.
When there’s no translation for what you want to say
Essentially, transcreation is the way to go when there’s no translation for what you want to say. It’s not just about the words you have in mind either, but the impact you want them to have on each audience. Transcreation forgets about exact translations and finds a way to elicit the same feeling from people in another language – even if it means saying something different.