What Is Transcreation: The Only Guide You Need

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What is transcreation

Are your products and services easily found online by your existing and potential customers around the world?

Probably yes, because in today’s era of globalization, technology, and competition, who isn’t investing for market expansion? You’ve decided to offer your business’ content in multiple languages for your audiences around the world. Smart, granted!

But it isn’t just about the accessibility of your content. Rather, it’s the impact of your content!

So here’s another question: does your content resonate? Does it engage or leave a lasting impression?

If your answer is no or maybe you aren’t sure, then you most probably have been choosing translation services, where in fact, transcreation should be your go-to strategy.

Transcreation may sound familiar to you, but “what is transcreation?” is still a nagging question. Plus, the difference between transcreation and translation is often a hazy one.

In this guide, all your questions and more will be answered, what transcreation is, the differences between transcreation and translation, and when and why you should use transcreation services, so that next time you know what approach best suits and is most effective for your business strategy.

So, What Is Transcreation?

Transcreation is a hybrid word; it’s a combination of two terms, translation and creation. As Wikipedia puts it, transcreation is the process of adapting a message from one language to another target language so that it’s appropriate for the local market, while maintaining its intent, style, tone, and context. This represents only one dimension of the concept, since the scope of transcreation extends beyond translation.

Transcreation meaning

The key term here to note is “creation”, which clearly indicates that creativity is the very foundation of transcreation. What’s special about transcreation is that it allows room for creativity and freedom from the source text to communicate a fresh, new, and powerful message, but while keeping your original idea intact. This is where the name “creative translation” comes from.

Now, it makes total sense that “transcreation is more than just translation” that you frequently hear. It is true that, just like translation, transcreation requires exquisite linguistic skills and cultural understanding. But more, it specifically requires extensive copywriting skill and marketing knowledge. This is what makes your copy/content compelling and persuasive, in a way that reflects the soul and spirit of your brand, capitalizes on the emotions of your audience, and consequently leaves a lasting impression on your audience. It’s why transcreation services sometimes go by other names, such as cross-market copywriting and international copy adaptation.

Transcreation vs. Translation: What’s Common between Them, and What’s Not

Knowing what transcreation is is only part of the picture. As we dive deep into transcreation and translation, you might see some blurred details between them. To help you around these two, let’s do a small comparison to get a clear understanding of each approach.

Translation

Transcreation

Does it include linguistic, cultural, and contextual adaptation?

Yes

Yes

What are the levels of creativity involved?

Low

High

Is the end result different from the source text?
  • No-The purpose of translation is to convey a message from one language to another without changing much of or deviating from the original text.
  • The message and idea remain almost the same.
  • To a great extent-The purpose of transcreation is to recreate a message, while staying faithful to the essence of the original text.
  • Each target market has a uniquely crafted copy.
  • The message is new, but the idea is the same.
How much copywriting is involved?

None

A great deal

Does it have an emotional element?

Only if the original text has one.

Yes-Transcreation basically appeals to the emotions of your audience.

Does it have a persuasive edge?

No

Yes

Type of Content

Translation is the best approach for long texts:
Technical & Legal Documents
Articles and Blogposts
Website Content

Transcreation is the best approach for short texts:
Brand/Product Names
Product Descriptions
Billboards
Slogans
Taglines
Social Media
Advertising Campaigns
Promotional Material

How do you measure its quality?

Accuracy, precision, and relevance.

Accuracy, precision, and relevance. Additionally, the quality of transcreation is measured by how much of an impact the copy has achieved, be it more brand awareness, more leads, more conversions, or more customer engagement.

Who performs it?

Professional translators

Professional translators who are copywriters at heart.


Transcreation in the Marketing and Advertising Industry

The core idea of developing a global marketing strategy is building a brand that everyone loves, chooses every time, and recommends to others. We bet that some global brands have instantly popped into your head.

For this to happen, your marketing content should start with speaking the language of your local audience and addressing their preferences and expectations while remaining true to your brand voice – and should do that consistently in every market. Many companies and businesses opt for marketing translation then, where their marketing and advertising copies are delivered in different languages, taking into account the cultural context, of course.

However, promoting your business on a global scale will need more than just offering your audience accessibility to your products and services through an “understanding”.


Do People buy on emotion or logic?

Do people buy on emotion or logic?

Neuroscience confirms that people are driven by and buy on their emotions. If you want to go beyond their language expectations and speak to their hearts and minds, and speak persuasively, marketing transcreation is the answer. It’s that magic trick that combines culture, emotions, and persuasion, creating a psychological and emotional connection to your products and services as well as your brand.

This is one of the biggest differences between transcreation and translation. In the marketing and advertising world, transcreation makes your brand recognizable and loved by people around the globe.

Some big global brands such as Pepsi, IKEA, and Mercedes-Benz have learned the hard way that marketing translation isn’t enough. A simple, straightforward translation doesn’t cut it. Any awkward or offensive translation can be dangerous. Plus, your brand is more than just text; it’s the full experience that your brand offers from logos, slogans, and taglines to colors, images, videos, and more.

And this where marketing transcreation perfectly fits. It takes into account the local culture, blends it with the needs of the audience, taps into their emotions, and reflects your brand’s image in order to creatively design personalized experiences that eventually inspire action.

 

Language services offer both transcreation and translation, but they have noticed that transcreation is outperforming translation in the marketing and advertising arena with more and more global companies turning to it.

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Why Transcreation Is Important?

Or, in other words, why should you bother.
The importance of transcreation services lies in what transcreation is and the purpose that it serves, which we have just explored together. But again, it’s the IMPACT that it builds. Such impact is manifested in several ways; we bring them down to three:

1.More Reach, More Brand Awareness

With a solid SEO strategy, transcreation can take your business further and reach potential customers in different parts of the world, creating not only wider visibility but also a powerful connection with them with content that delights and engages.

2.Strong Local & Global Presence

With transcreation, it almost never feels that any kind of translation took place. It’s not like starting from scratch, but it feels this way because the message is exceptionally tailored to the new audience. People will then respond and particularly be invested in what you have to offer and how you are offering it. This is what achieves a strong local presence that enhances your entire global presence.

3.Brand Loyalty

Transcreation brings life to your content; it oozes this human element that seeks to connect with audiences on a personal level. It’s the kind of connection that breeds trust in your brand, besides the quality of your products and services. Giving your audience that kind of dedication consistently will make them always choose you over others.

So, what is transcreation? It’s a lot of things but the first thing that should come to your mind when you hear the word “transcreation” is IMPACT.

We’ve discussed the theoretical aspect of transcreation. Want to see transcreation in action? Our next blog will explore the best and most creative transcreation examples as well as the worst and most embarrassing transcreation mistakes. Sign up for our newsletter and get notified when the blog is published.

If this blogpost has convinced you of how transcreation can transform your marketing and advertising efforts, bayantech team will help you get the kick-start you need, delivering creatively crafted marketing messages that offer familiar and memorable experiences to win over your audience and inspire them to make a purchase. 

We are ready when you are. Get in touch to discuss your next transcreation project now.

 

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bayantech is a leading language service provider. Since 2004, we have been providing ISO-certified, smart, and effective translation and localization solutions to major global businesses and organizations, helping our clients smoothly cross the frontiers of language and culture, communicate effectively worldwide, and expand their markets.
 

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