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What is transcreation?

If a fine line is all that separates translation and localization, the same is true for localization and transcreation. Generally speaking, content should be transcreated if it contains:

  • Very specific cultural references that cannot be understood in other countries, at least not without a long explanation.
  • Space restrictions for text, which is common for headers on websites, social media posts, and AdWords ads.
  • Space restrictions for images, for example if a message is conveyed using images, graphics, or emojis.
  • Hashtags, which should be frequently used in the target language, so the grammar and syntax may be totally different to the original.
  • Plays on words or rhymes, such as in a tagline or jingle.

These are just a few examples of potential difficulties to resolve. In addition to linguistic obstacles, transcreation focuses on the emotional impact that the content has on the reader. An expert transcreator will not only demonstrate creativity and complete mastery of the target language, but must also be skilled at taking the essence of the original text and completely recreating it from scratch in the target language. The process is closer to copywriting than translation.


What are the benefits of transcreation?

Marketing content is absolutely essential when promoting a brand or product. In order to sound natural and engaging in other countries, the original message must be persuasive and effective for the specific user persona in the target market. In marketing translation there's more freedom to play with style and form, but the core message of the original text should always be conveyed. When the source text is a slogan, an ad, or an entire advertising campaign, a much greater degree of adaptation is required compared to a straightforward translation. And this is where transcreation comes into play.

Transcreation involves adapting the register, vocabulary, tone, and the emotional impact of the original text to the target country's culture. This process is particularly important in content marketing, where the aim is not to promote a product or service, but to create an experience. For the end customer to feel involved in the experience, they should feel like the content is really speaking to them. Leave it to us and you can be sure that even your most creative marketing content will generate the same level of engagement in all your target markets.


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