Transcreation vs. Translation: what’s the difference?

June 24, 2020by Future Trans
3 MIN READ
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Creating content for global markets requires a great deal of planning. Your message needs to reach an international audience and also resonate with them to create a long-lasting impression. In order to efficiently achieve this time-consuming but rewarding goal, many companies turn to transcreation services where experts culturally adapt content with great success.

Translation vs. Transcreation services

A good translation service doesn’t only transfer words from one language to another. The new text should be highly readable, clear, and faithful to the meaning of the original text.

Sometimes, however, content needs more than this to resonate with a new audience. Certain features won’t have the same impact on international readers.

Cultural references may be lost. Emotional language can miss the mark. Certain symbols might be deemed inappropriate or offensive.

This is where transcreation comes in. Transcreation builds on the foundations of a good translation, adding an extra layer of creativity and expertise to make necessary adjustments. Skilled writers and linguists take the meaning from the source text, then translate, adapt, and optimize to recreate the original idea for a different culture.

Simply put, transcreation is translation and creation combined.

What type of content needs transcreation services?

The simplest way to determine if transcreation is appropriate for your content is by considering its aims. What intentions are behind it? What effect should it have on the reader?

Texts that are creative and reach the audience at an emotional level are ideal for transcreation. This can include marketing content, video games, commercials, apps, and more.

Transcreators begin with a creative brief. They then work with the client to ensure that the finished product captures the original message and emotional impact of the source text.

Websites can often benefit from transcreation; over half the world’s searches are in a language other than English. Successful transcreation drives international traffic and increases engagement with culturally relevant, SEO localized content. This ensures that global customers are able to find the website easily in search results.

On the other hand, texts that are predominantly informative are not usually suitable. Legal documents, medical reports, etc. need to be precise, accurate, and highly faithful to their source texts.

Three transcreation top tips for your project:

  1. Hire a native speaker

Native speakers are highly valuable to a transcreation project. They are able to capture the perfect tone of voice and use the correct vocabulary. Importantly, they also have the cultural knowledge to help you achieve success in the new country or region.

  1. Utilize expert knowledge

A transcreator is a linguist, a subject expert, and a skilled writer, all in one. They need to not only communicate ideas eloquently but also have the right knowledge of applicable rules, regulations, and laws.

  1. Go beyond words

Transcreation services can extend beyond the realms of texts. While it is important to have a culturally relevant copy, it needs to blend seamlessly into the reader’s overall experience.

Visual elements such as images, layout, graphics, and interfaces all need to be localized to ensure they fit with local consumer habits. The extent of transcreation can depend on format and budget.

If in doubt, speak to a transcreation expert who can advise what is necessary for your project and help with budget optimization.

How can Future Trans help with transcreation?

At Future Trans, we provide expert language services into African and Middle Eastern languages. We have been specializing in high-quality transcreation for over 24 years, working together with top companies to connect with their target audiences.

We are an ISO 17100 certified company. Our linguists make use of the latest technology, including project management and quality assurance tools, to provide first-rate translation, transcreation, and localization services.

Send us a message to get your free quote.

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