Creative translations

Transcreation – creative translations

Transcreation - creative translations

If you don’t want your copy to be translated word-for-word, but instead want to ensure that it’s linguistically and culturally adapted for your customers’ target country, we will write a transcreation for you. The transcreation process can result in a piece that differs significantly from the original text.

Transcreation is typically used for advertising and marketing, since this style of writing is particularly creative. The term adaptation is often used to describe this process as well. Transcreations are suitable for all kinds of target-oriented copy, such as film titles, headlines, slogans, brochures and newsletters.

Transcreation - creative translations

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!

Step by step

This is how the intercontact team makes your language project a success

Provision of language services
Quality assurance
Final check


Here’s what our satisfied customers
have to say

The team at the translation agency intercontact puts your requirements first. As a reliable translation agency, we want to exceed your expectations and offer you tailored services – for excellent results every time.

“Here at GERRY WEBER we are very satisfied! For us, intercontact is an absolutely reliable, competent partner who always delivers on time and convinces with its work. Many thanks to the entire team for the good cooperation!“
“Intercontact has proven itself to be a very reliable and professional partner for translation management. The jointly developed interface solution automates many processes, which ultimately frees up resources in the relevant teams.“
“We are very happy with our working relationship with intercontact. The translation agency is professional, reliable and adapts to the individual requirements of its customers. We created two new foreign-language online shops with intercontact. We had a very positive experience with both of these projects, in addition to the ongoing product and content translations. The translations are high quality, and – particularly when it comes to the content translation, where meaning matters and word play cannot be translated literally – it is clear that the intercontact translators are real experts.“
“Cooperation and communication with intercontact is smooth and direct. Specific translation requests are taken into account and implemented. Overall, we value the friendly client-agency cooperation and their timely management and look forward to working on projects together in the future.“
“What we particularly appreciate about our cooperation with intercontact is the reliable and professional implementation of the orders. Even when spontaneous tasks have to be completed, we can always rely on intercontact. And last but not least, the friendly tone also creates a good working atmosphere.“
“We have had a brilliant working relationship with intercontact for years! Reliability, timely deliveries and tremendous dedication are just some of the highlights of our cooperation to date. What’s more, when a really urgent ad-hoc implementation is requested, intercontact does everything within its power to deliver results in a timely manner. Keep doing what you’re doing!“
“Working with intercontact translations has been straightforward. The team has put great effort in understanding our internal and client needs. They stick to their commitments and ensure a seamless communication all the time.“
“It’s great that we happened to find intercontact. No other translation agency we’ve worked with has been this flexible, reliable, fast and cooperative. We get results for every project in no time at all that inspire our customers on a regular basis. Keep doing what you’re doing!“
“The projects are managed quickly and professionally by intercontact and are always delivered on time. Especially for translations with fast turnaround times, their prompt delivery is particularly impressive. In the event of uncertainties or queries relating to projects, communication is very good and interactions with our contact partners are always very pleasant.“
Zusammenarbeit mit unserem Übersetzungsbüro


We will be happy to help you

We, the intercontact translation agency, are available to you in person, over the phone, via e-mail or in an online meeting and we are always happy to hear from you. We are here to discuss any questions you may have about having your copy and documents translated and will be glad to create a personalised quote for you.


Subscribe to our
free newsletter today