Transcreation: Transcreation Is the Old New Translation

What is transcreation?

Transcreation, also marketing or creative translation, is mostly used by advertising and marketing professionals, defined as expanding a form of translation without focusing on the literal text. Transcreation is where a message is taken in one language and transported to a different language without compromising the meaning, context, and tone. The message has more weight than the exact words used.

Transcreation considers factors such as the targeted audience’s environment, culture, and emotions. It performs the role of efficiently recreating one language to another. The same emotion of an original message and the same essence make a well-transcreated message.

What is a translation?

Translation, on the other hand, is to render a language text from one language to another. It entails rendering a source text from one language to an equivalent version in another language word for word.

With transcreation synonymously used alongside translation, it is necessary to highlight differences between them.

Differences between transcreation and translation

  1. Translation renders phrases and words in the target language while transcreation edits the content and re-writes with a creative license which re-phrases words
  2. Translation is best for legal documents, official notices, terms, and conditions, etc., whereas transcreation is best for branding and marketing materials
  3. In terms of revision cycles, they are absent in translation whereas, in transcreation, there is the inclusion of one to two rounds
  4. When prized, translation is charged per word while transcreation is billed per hour
  5. For effective translation, a professional translator with about 3-5 years of experience is required. On the other hand, transcreation requires a professional copywriter who may as well have the ability to translate.

Transcreation process

There are three major steps involved to make it to the final output of transcreation;

  1. Thoroughly understanding the purpose of the message

It is essential to know the core or primary intention for transcreating the message. This is important because one can know the sender’s emotional intent to the audience; what they want them to feel, and the action they need from them.

  1. Having enough and adequate knowledge on the new audience one is dealing with, as well as the original audience

The desired tone and style will be achieved with this kind of well-rooted understanding. A team with well-rooted knowledge of both cultures makes more impact.

  1. Ability to produce creative content

It is necessary to have a transcreator who is competent in translating languages, as well as understands the new culture and therefore manages to be as creative as possible.



Evolution in the world of translation industry

Transcreation has recently become a buzzword in the study of translation. It is indeed the real evolution in the world of the translation industry. Across the globe, transcreation is increasingly claiming a position in various marketing and advertising campaigns. Organizations and companies are too in haste to look to transcend cultural and language boundaries.

The use of such things as words, audio, cultural nuances, graphics, videos all add up to transcreation. The transcreation industry is now in the middle of demand and appeal which is unprecedented. Language services around the globe have witnessed a 5.52% annual growth, with a potential increase to about 6.5%-7.5% this year.

Many translators have stated that ever since transcreation was introduced to them, it simply became more than just a word to describe a marketing tactic or an activity. For many, it became the identity in their professional career that they had been seeking for so long.

They confess that something within the concept connected their innate drives and personal interests to opportunities and business needs. Isn’t that now what everyone is looking for? In connection with this, this has attracted big brands to adopting transcreation successfully such as Coca-Cola in the Chinese market.

Experience is the best teacher, spending a good part of our time together with some other people becomes more exciting and fun where one gets to know and identify with cultures. Realization of people’s creative potential capability laying within every one of us becomes meaningful and exciting.

Transcreation has been an original work’s intra/interlingual reinterpretation of which has been suited to the audience of the target language requiring the translator to construct new linguistic, conceptual and cultural constructs. It can as well be depicted as a strategy which overcomes the limits in the inability to translate, but is a holistic approach whereby all possible techniques, strategies, and methods can be used.

Therefore, transcreation as the real evolution in the world of translation, requires fluency, flexibility in repurposing ideas, originality, and elaboration to develop ideas. It thus not only needs the translator to conceive new words but to imagine new worlds as well.

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