If you’re looking to globalize your business, you may be asking yourself what language service will best achieve your goals. While literal translation will adapt your content to meet the language requirements of your target audience, it could lead to misnomers, given that most words have more than one meaning. Localization projects will adapt all aspects of your content to suit the needs of your target audience, but your content may not contain graphics, colors, and other stylistic elements generally adapted in full localization. 

This is where the service known as transcreation comes in. 

Transcreation is the practice of shaping a message in one language to best convey its original meaning in another. Transcreation preserves the original intent, context, emotion, and tone of the source document. Ideally, with a transcreation project, your target audience will have no idea that a transcreation occurred, the content will read as if it were originally created in the target language.

Why transcreation?

There are many different situations in which transcreation is beneficial over translation, but it is predominantly used for creative, marketing-centric content. Marketing content tends to be regionally targeted, including slogans, idioms, and jokes that may not resonate with other cultures or languages. Transcreating your marketing messaging can help to ensure that you’re appropriately presenting your brand personality to your new target audience.

How do transcreation and translation differ?

  • Transcreation generally starts with a creative brief

While translation starts with a source document, a transcreation project will start with both a source document and a creative brief. The goal of the creative brief is to give your linguist an overall idea of the creative concept behind the document. What is the message you’re trying to convey? What action are you hoping to trigger with your content?

  • Transcreation results in different messaging

In a translation project, your source and target documents communicate the same content, just in different languages. The translation will be culturally and contextually appropriate, but the messaging won’t change. In transcreation, your messaging changes. For example, one well-known transcreation project resulted in a completely different slogan for McDonald’s. In North America, the slogan is “I’m lovin’ it,” whereas, in China, the slogan is “I just like it.” In China, the word “love” is extremely serious and rarely said, which makes “I just like it” a more appropriate slogan for that region.

The goal of a transcreation project is to re-interpret your original content into messaging that conveys the same idea or feeling to your target audience. Transcreation projects can help your marketing messaging to be more impactful, and help to launch your business on a more global scale. Interested in starting a new transcreation project, or learning more about transcreation? Call us at 530-750-2040, or request a free quote today.

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