When tailoring your content to reach a global audience, sometimes translation is not enough. Language is filled with nuances, idioms and understood meanings that direct translations may not5 Keys to Transcreation Success blog image pick up. Transcreation may be your best option when customizing your message to reach an audience of a different language.

What Is Transcreation?

Transcreation (sometimes called creative translation) is developing or adapting your message for a specific target audience rather than just merely translating existing materials. Transcreation combines new content, culturally adapted content and straightforward translation. Transcreation can include copywriting, image selection, font changes and other transformations that tailor your message to the recipient.


Transcreation enhances your local brand while tailoring it to specific local markets. This service focuses on fluid readability rather than just an accurate word-for-word translation.


When Should You Use Transcreation?

Transcreation should be considered whenever you adapt your materials for a global audience. If you are converting scientific or highly technical materials into another language for a professional audience, you most likely will want a direct translation. When working with more nuanced materials where you want your message, brand and “voice” to be understood, such as with marketing or advertising collateral, and some websites or publishing materials, then transcreation is the right choice.


5 Key Considerations for Transcreation

The goal of transcreation is to keep the same intent, style, tone and emotion of the source material in the target language. Here are 5 things to consider when selecting a transcreation provider:

1.    Transcreation should be performed only into native language.

We all know that communicating in a second language (no matter how well you know that second language) never has the same natural flow as communicating in your native language. It is not enough to be bilingual. To maximize success, transcreation should be performed by people who were born into and think in the target language.

2.    Transcreation provider should be in-country and share location with your target audience.

A language service provider is that shares native language of your target is not sufficient. They must also share, live and breathe the language, humor, trends and timeliness of what is relevant to your target audience. An in-country transcreation provider is embedded with the most current local culture and context of your target and can best communicate in way that is relevant and important to them.

3.    Transcreation provider must be a content expert.

How can a language service provider adapt content that they do not comprehend? Transcreation providers must also be experts in the information that is being localized. No matter how well the language service provider knows the target language, if they do not understand the content, the transcreation will not be a success.

4.    Transcreation provider must have extensive copywriting expertise.

Good transcreation involves good writing. If you’ve taken time to have professionals carefully craft your message in your source language, don’t you want professional, experienced communicators to craft your message in your target language? To protect your brand, you want to choose a transcreation vendor who only uses professionals with extensive marketing and writing expertise. You want professionals who can understand your global campaign while tailoring your message to best connect with local customers.

5.    Transcreation provider must have knowledge and understanding of the target market.

Beyond language, culture, content expertise and writing skills, a good transcreation will speak to the heart of the target audience. A good transcreation provider will research and understand the target market and how best to reach them.  A language service provider with knowledge of the target market avoids embarrassing mistakes that may come from not understanding the target audience while enhancing your message. A transcreator that knows the target market will also know the local advertising regulations, media and commercial codes.

Where translation converts your message from one language to another, Transcreation can help you take your global brand and message and modify it to create intimate experiences and relationships with your local target audience.

What differences have you seen between translation and transcreation? Please share your experiences in our comments section below, and if you benefited from this blog, please like and share it socially using the buttons above. Also, please see our related blog on Translating Marketing Content.

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