Marketing material can be one of the most difficult types of document to translate. In our last blog article we had discussed why industry expert linguist are necessary when working with highly specialized material. While a mistake in the translation of a patent could cost a company millions of dollars, misunderstood branding in an international market could cost a company more than just money, it could offend the audience that it is intended to reach. This is where transcreation comes into play.

What is Transcreation?

Transcreation often referred to as creative or adaptive translation is a hybrid of new content, culturally adapted content and imagery, and straightforward translation. It is the process of adapting a company’s message in its source language, so that it carries the same emotion, tone and context in the target language. Transcreation enables you to convey your creative messages in a way that is both relevant and engaging, while maintaining your original brand concept. It is a vital part of any international marketing campaign.

Need for Global Brand Consultants

To help maintain cultural relevance, it is often necessary to work with a global brand consultant when you are unfamiliar with idiosyncrasies of a target market. These consultants share their insights and expertise on a given locale and are often able to save a company moving into a new market the embarrassment of being misunderstood. Consultants can advise on what the best images for a campaign are, what font will best resonate with the target market and what word choice will best get your message across. Humor is another aspect of marketing that can often be lost in translation. Something that may be humorous in one country, may in fact offend the people of another.

International Marketing Gone Wrong

There always seems to be a story in the news about a company that has made a major faux pas introducing their product into a foreign market. Imagine spending months of planning on a marketing campaign for a product launch in the UK. All of your advertisements, billboards and TV ads are ready to go. You a marketing a new product and your slogan “peace around the world” with your entire campaign centered on the “v” shaped hand gesture. Throughout all of your marketing materials the peace sign is present, but you were unaware of the fact that the peace sign has a different meaning in the UK. It is the equivalent of giving your new target market the middle finger in US culture. Months of planning and budgeting has been put in place to offend the people you want to buy your product. Global brand consultants are familiar with these cultural differences as they have fully immersed themselves into the culture in which they work.

When is Back Translation Necessary?

As an additional quality control measure, a back translation may be used to give a better understanding of the target text, as another way to control your globally branded message. Back translations are often recommended for clients with high value content that needs to be translated across languages with as much peace of mind and certainty as possible that its exact meaning is conveyed. Be sure to check back in for our next blog article that will go into more detail on the back translation process!
As you can see transcreation is a key part of any international marketing campaign. Working with a translation services provider and a global brand consultant can help you keep your brand concept while moving into a new market

Please share in the comments below how you have utilized transcreation services in the past. Do you think a translation agency should be in charge of handling transcreation services, or should the company moving into a new market handle that research internally? Or maybe a combination of the two is the best way to go. Let us know your opinions! Also, please don’t forget to link and share this blog socially using the buttons above.

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