Transcreation – Translating The Meaning Behind The Words

creation translation

Table of Contents

What Is Transcreation? 

Simply put, transcreation is an amalgamation of the words, “translation” and “creation.” It can be described more succinctly as the process of “creative translation,” since creativity comes in where translation ends.

The term “transcreation” dates back more than 60 years, when it became apparent that basic translation was not enough to permeate language barriers—given that subtle cultural characteristics are a significant part of overall communication. It was necessary to translate not only the words of a language, but also the meaning behind the words.

In this article, we will delve further into what transcreation actually is, and how it is used in conjunction with translation services.

What Transcreation Is Used For

In the 1980s, transcreation was applied within the gaming industry, for wider regional inclusion in language, graphics, and character representation. From the 1990s forward, transcreation services increasingly became integrated with international advertising, as marketing continued to move in a global direction.

Today, transcreation is a refined practice within the translation industry, essential to translation and localization services as a whole. Transcreation is a component of localization, applicable to such areas of consumerism, as:

  • Digital and print advertising
  • Social media
  • Literary works
  • Educational materials
  • Entertainment
  • News and informational sources

For each market, a different strategy would apply. It should reflect a mindset of cultural inclusion, as well as flexibility in addressing the target audience. Branding should be adaptive, appealing to each individual region.

What More Can Transcreation Offer Besides Translation?

Translation is perceived as a literal exchange of words for comprehension in another language. Transcreation goes far beyond this concept, as language is made up of more than words.

Translation – A translator converts the language, paying close attention to the words and literal meaning of the text (although paraphrasing can sometimes be necessary). Depending on the source material, some local influences can guide the translation. For instance, if the elements of a sentence are arranged differently from one language to another, it could be structured so that the reader can understand the meaning.

Transcreation – Usually conducted by a copywriter and/or copy editor, transcreation involves relaying the essence of the message beyond the text. It considers cultural attachments to terminology, as well as the effectiveness and appropriateness of tone, style, imagery, and other factors—with the goal of resonating the original message’s intended value to the target audience, regardless of the language.

There are certain documents that would not require transcreation, such as deeds or contracts that rely on a closer association with the source material (e.g., legal documentation containing absolute terms).

The Benefits of Transcreation for Your Business

A company expanding into international markets will surely have goals for success. Applying transcreation to the messaging that accompanies the brand can bring about such benefits as:

  • Enhanced brand recognition
  • Increased revenue
  • Connection with an attentive audience
  • Customer loyalty built on a global scale

These gains are even more impactful when you consider that transcreation goes toward helping remote regions feel more acknowledged and respected.

The Transcreation Process

A successful transcreation involves a collaborative partnership between professionals who concentrate on different areas. With sufficient market research and a good strategy in place, the process generally follows these guidelines:

  1. Original content is analyzed to determine what areas will need transcreation
  2. A translation is conducted from the original wording into the native language
  3. A creative brief is produced showing where transcreation is required
  4. The copywriting team works from the brief, modifying the text into culturally appropriate messaging, and creating new content targeting the intended audience

These steps vary according to the complexity of the languages involved, the transcreation required, the volume of documentation, and the intricacies of the culture itself.

Professional Transcreation Services

For successful marketing campaigns on an international scale, always use a professional transcreation services provider. Future Trans is a reliable transcreation agency with extensive expertise and proven abilities in the field. They understand the importance of language nuances and are able to apply them seamlessly to the transcreation process.

Future Trans is a translation, localization, and transcreation services provider that will ensure that each project is quality-driven and accurate. Contact us and one of our representatives will get back to you.

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