Transcreation– -
more than just translation

Transcreation can also be referred to as adaptation or creative translation. It is primarily used in the field of advertising, since such texts frequently need to convey emotions rather than just plain facts.
In transcreation, translators deliberately avoid a direct translation based on the source language, and instead use their own words to communicate the intended message. It is essentially still a translation, but transcreation requires a different approach and different thinking processes on the part of the translator. It’'s less about conveying specific words, and more about conveying a particular concept from one language into another.

Advertising often works against the backdrop of country- or culture-specific knowledge, established idioms and other linguistic devices. A conventional translation would generally be ineffective in such cases.

Advertising texts often make use of wordplay. The target language will have its own counterpart, which reproduces the sentiment but might not bear any resemblance to the words used in the original text.
Translating advertising texts requires intercultural expertise, a very deep understanding of both cultures. Imagery also plays an important role here. Certain images can evoke different feelings, depending on the culture.

Transcreation involves the following considerations:

  • The advertising message
  • Cultural idiosyncrasies of the target market
  • References to the culture of the source language
  • Consumer behavior
  • Wordplay, idioms

That'’s why we, as translators, need to know exactly what messages are intended in the source text. What is the goal of the particular advertising campaign? Who is the target group that needs to be reached? What emotions should the text evoke? This makes it absolutely necessary to have a briefing to be able to identify essential content and to consider any changes in the cultural requirements and contexts – so that a new and convincing text can be created with the proper linguistic and cultural counterparts in the target language.

We can say that good, successful transcreation has been achieved if the adapted version comes across just like the original. The text needs to fit the target market in terms of both language and content, and also in respect to culture and function.

Translation, transcreation or copywriting

Transcreations sometimes are also referred to as international copywriting, since both types of text are rooted in the advertising sector.
Generally speaking, the main objective of an advertising text is to arouse the interest of the readers/audience and spur them to a specific action. Ideally, a text tells its readers/audience how they should behave after viewing the advertisement. The claims that convey this message are known as a call to action.
The difference between transcreation and (international) copywriting, however, is that copywriting doesn'’t involve using an existing text but rather creating an entirely new text in a different language.

International copywriting has numerous areas of application, including the following:

  • Brochures, magazines, flyers
  • •Websites, newsletters, blogs
  • •Campaigns, ads, press releases

Our copywriters are experienced translators with a keen sense for language, who know the right tone to use for a particular context –- ensuring that you have the ideal result. They also are able to quickly get a grasp of new topics and transform these into text. Their task is to see things from the perspective of the target audience and to recognize their needs in order to bring across your message using the most suitable linguistic devices.

As with transcreation, successful copywriting not only involves extensive research on the part of the copywriter; it also requires detailed briefings with the client in order to ensure that the text clearly communicates the intended subject and message, thus ensuring the success of the campaign or other project.

You benefit from the fact that our copywriters live in the country where the target language is spoken.
Language and communication are constantly evolving. Current language trends are often incorporated in the field of advertising, in particular, and they need to be rendered appropriately for the target market. The subtleties of these trends can only be discerned if you live where the language is being used each day.

Do you want your claim or advertising message to reach your international target audience with the intended impact? Contact us.