Transcreation exists to fulfil a need beyond literal or precise translation. It is most commonly used in straplines, advertising, brand-led campaigns, websites and marketing materials. But it’s not something that every translation agency offers.
Transcreation takes translation further. It adapts a target text for a particular locale or a specific audience. Instead of providing an equivalent of a phrase or sentence, the message behind the text is derived and this is then recreated in the target language. It often involves the introduction of new words, or omitting sentences or phrases. It can include an explanatory phrase, or change the emphasis to fit local markets. And in certain situations, such as a culturally specific strapline, it will involve a major change in the text.
The process involves industry experience, knowledge of the target audience, awareness of the local culture – and inspiration. In contrast to translation it also involves a great deal of subjectivity, as it addresses emotions as well as the intellect. The criteria for evaluating a transcreation are quite different from those of a translation. Typically, the most successful transcreations involve detailed interaction between the client and the transcreator.
A good transcreator is not only bilingual but bicultural, and must have a good understanding of the subject matter and the industry. Even perfect fluency between two languages is not enough to ensure high-quality transcreation.
As a translation agency with 30 years experience, we are thorough about every aspect of the services we offer. Alpha’s transcreators are selected for their creativity and understanding. The client’s expectations and message are outlined in full to the transcreators. From there, they work closely alongside local market stakeholders to ensure that their transcreated content meets all the needs of our clients.
Transcreation can be either closer to translation, or closer to copywriting, depending on the type of text, and preferences of the stakeholders. When it gets near copywriting, sometimes back translation is used to “explain” the differences to someone who does not have knowledge of the target language. As with all our processes, our aim in providing transcreation is to collaborate with our clients. High-quality content comes out of continuous dialogue and creative skill, working alongside each other. This allows us to provide a more complete service than the average translation agency.