Transcreation is increasingly becoming an integral part of marketing campaigns. It is part and parcel of the process of transcending language and culture barriers when it comes to marketing and advertising geared messages (such as a slogan). Advertisers who aim to communicate the purpose of a brand in a foreign country have to turn to transcreation services. A professional copywriter uses transcreation to best capture the essence of what the original author was getting at.
What does transcreation mean?
Transcreating means “translating” and “creating” a message from one language into another, keeping in mind its suitability for the context and the targeted audience. A successfully transcreated message would therefore evoke the same emotions as the original message. A literal translation might be informative, but would fail to make the message resonate in the targeted culture. The problem with this approach is that your messages will not allow your customers to connect and engage with your brand, which will hinder your international growth.
How does transcreation differ from translation?
If you aim to expand your business at an international scale, translating your marketing material would seem like the most obvious thing to do. However, sometimes translation is simply not enough. Different languages have different perceptions on words and expressions. You need a professional copywriter who has an intimate knowledge of the target language to be able to provoke the same reaction from the readers in the targeted country and therefore attract them to your business. The person producing the transcreation has to have a perfect understanding of the outcome desired by their customer and make significant changes to the text in order to uphold its original meaning.
How important is transcreation in global marketing?
When creating promotional content in the original language, advertisers tend to write simple and focused content, whilst offering something of immediate value and making their customers feel special. When you are translating this content, it is of utmost importance to replicate the emotional experience intended by the author as opposed to translating the mere words. This is the main purpose of transcreation and the direct bridge between the marketing strategy in the original language and the marketing strategy in the target language.
In 1987, Braniff International Airways launched an advertisement on television, radio and newspapers with the slogan “fly in leather”. The North American company was flaunting its leather-seated airplanes and tried to encourage its passengers to experience the luxury of flying with their airlines. Braniff failed to anticipate the negative connotations of its slogan in Spanish when it was translated as “vuela en cuero”, which sounds like the Mexican slang for “fly naked”.
Translation and transcreation are therefore based on a common ground: the expert operates by creating a target text in language B based on a source text in language A. However, translation seems to be word-based, whilst transcreation tends to be concept-based. Transcreation also grants the professional a big amount of creative freedom. For example, the transcreator can advise the client about changing the models in an advertisement to better fit the demographics of the target market. A translator would obviously be exempt from this duty when handling a technical brochure for example. This is because the content is factual and is not subject to any misinterpretations. The content also does not aim to give the reader any emotional experience to get a reaction that would propel them to buy a service or purchase a product. The cultural adaptation therefore takes the backseat and the precision of the instructions and word sequencing is given higher importance.
So do you have a product you wish to internationalize or a website you would like to globalize? Or do you simply want to expand your business overseas to make more profit? If this your case, you might want to ask your translator to take a step further and begin the transcreation process.