Transcreation – the intersection of translation and copywriting
As you may have guessed, the term transcreation is derived from the words “translation” and “creation” and describes the two skills that a transcreation specialist must have, since this person essentially performs the role of both a translator and a copywriter. Unlike the standard translation process, transcreation involves practically rewriting the original text and using creative approaches to recreate figures of speech, proverbs, wordplay and other types of humour in the source language.
Get professional transcreations from the expert linguists at intercontact
Adaptations and transcreations are no place for experiments. Things can get embarrassing very quickly if an international company neglects to adapt an advertising campaign in line with the linguistic and cultural conventions of the country or countries in which the campaign is to be run.
That’s why you should rely on the experienced translation experts at intercontact!
From the world of transcreation
To ensure that customers of international companies feel at home in stores and online shops all over the world, slogans are adapted in line with cultural conventions in the country of sale.
For example, the German chocolate manufacturer Ritter Sport translates their slogan
«Quadratisch. Praktisch. Gut» into French using a word-for-word translation of
«Carré. Pratique. Gourmand.». In contrast, however, the slogan is different in English-speaking countries, with
«Quality in a Square» serving as the slogan in the United Kingdom and
«Quality. Chocolate. Squared.» being used in the USA and Canada.
Another example of this is the names of Disney characters that captivate children around the world: For instance, Donald Duck is known as «Paperino» in Italy and «Anders And» in Denmark, while Mickey Mouse keeps his English name in Denmark but is known as «Topolino» in Italy and «Micky Maus» in Germany.
Slogans such as «I’m lovin’ it» from McDonald’s are translated literally into German with «ich liebe es», while the original slogan is used in Italy.
Transcreation – who can do it?
Translators who carry out transcreations have excellent knowledge of the cultural conventions in nuances in both the source language country and the target language country. However, good transcreations often result from collaboration between two native speakers, as you need to have spent many years in a country in order to understand all its cultural conventions and nuances. At intercontact, we ensure that all of the key requirements for high-quality transcreations are met by using native translators and giving them the necessary creative freedom. This ensures that your slogans, titles and texts are translated in the best way possible – for you and your customers. Due to the particularly challenging requirements, there are only a few good linguists for transcreations.
Transcreation – how does the cooperation work?
During the first stage, a briefing meeting is held between you, the project manager and the translation team with the aim of defining the goals for transcreation and discussing any special issues or requirements.
During the next step, the text is analysed as follows:
- Which cultural aspects need to be considered
- Which feelings and values should be communicated
- Which specific objective is to be pursued
- Which important questions need to be clarified in advance
After this analysis, the transcreation process can begin. This process requires a great deal of time, creativity and flexibility from the linguists. Because a transcreation does not simply involve translating the words in the original text, the linguists working on these jobs have much more creative freedom than they do when working on conventional translations. As a result, transcreations are often refined over multiple stages before the perfect solution is found, especially when it comes to jokes or country-specific proverbs.
Last but not least, the text is translated back into the source language. This allows you to better judge whether the words used align with your marketing strategy and corporate language.
Transcreation – is it always a good choice?
It is not always possible to adequately translate an advertising campaign or a TV spot into another language. Transcreations are a great tool, but they have their limits. For example, if an advertising campaign from the USA is tailored very specifically to the US market and US culture, due to cultural differences, customers from Islamic or Asian countries may still not understand the message of the campaign even with a transcreation.
This means that text in the original language is sometimes also used for other countries, as shown by McDonald’s use of it «I’m lovin’ it» in Italy.
Do you still have questions or do you need more tips? Simply give us a call or send us an e-mail. We are always happy to advise you about your transcreations. And it’s free!