Know the differences between transcreation and translation to make the right decision as you scale up your business globally. Take the right approach.
Sometimes, translation alone is not enough. Languages vary in many aspects and as such, merely replacing words with others in another language might lead to literal translations or worse still, miscommunication with the target audience. To avoid providing incorrect translations of the text businesses/individuals/companies seek out transcreation services. With transcreation, they ensure that everything captured in this language is communicated in another.
In this post, we will take an in-depth look at transcreation and translation to enable you to learn when its right to use either. With this information, you will know which way to go to avoid making any serious translation blunders that cost you or your company.
Transcreation is a portmanteau created after combining the words “translation” and “creation.” It is the process of converting texts to make their meaning more culturally suitable for the target audience. Transcreation goes a step further than providing word-for-word replacements by taking into consideration all subtleties (for example figures of speech and idioms that are not recognized universally) that could easily pass resulting in awkward translations.
When is transcreation necessary? If you need to adapt your slogans and creative messages for global audiences, then transcreation is the way to go. Apart from that, transcreation is also appropriate if you (the creator of the message) and the target audience speak the same language but with subtle differences. For instance, Americans cannot understand some phrases in British English. As such, it is necessary to adapt the language effectively to ensure that the messages are not lost in translation.
To keep the original meaning in the texts, use transcreation when translating not-so-forward things such as taglines, idioms, general branding materials, country-specific words and phrases, humor, and wordplay.
The translation is the process of converting the meaning of a particular piece of text to another language. The “source language” is the one used in the original text, while the “target” language refers to the language in which the particular text is translated into. Translators are the people who provide translations, and it is necessary that they only translate to their mother tongue. Doing this ensures that all linguistic nuances in their native language are observed.
Many linguists have educational qualifications in other fields, for example, engineering, accountancy, and law. Therefore, they are better placed to offer translations of documents within the said industries.
It is worth noting that some translators have a knack for creative writing. As such, they can come in handy on projects such as advertising, media texts, and marketing.
The Main Differences Between Transcreation and Translation
On the one hand, translation is excellent for informative and instructional texts. After all, one does not need to be creative when writing a guide on how to assemble a backyard barbecue grill. On the other hand, marketing, advertising, and fictional content need transcreation. By capturing the emotions in the text, transcreation ensures that the new document evokes the same feelings as the original. Thus, if you are after boosting purchases or invoking emotion, then it is best to go with transcreation. In other cases, translation is ideal.
Another difference between transcreation and translation is the people who do them. Content writers and copywriters are often the go-to experts for transcreation services. These people have a higher mastery of the written word when compared to translators. As such, they are better placed to deliver your marketing material in a way that is more impactful than a direct translation. Translators, on the other hand, are trained linguists who happen to master two languages effectively enough to offer the basic meaning of texts from one language to the other.
Another difference is that transcreation often starts with a brief between the service provider and the client. Doing this ensures that issues such as costs and deadlines are specified beforehand. On the contrary, people who seek translation services do not necessarily need to have meetings/discussions ahead of hiring translators.
The pricing is yet another thing that shows the differences between these two. Given that developing excellent copy that sells takes time, experts who offer transcreation services are often compensated highly. Moreover, the prices often change depending on the project. However, for translations, you will only have to pay the industry average. Better yet, with tools such as Google translate, you can translate your texts for free.
The final and significant difference between transcreation and translation is that the experts who offer the former go a step further by providing practical advice. They can guide you effectively as you adapt your illustrations and branding for the audience. Things such as the right color to use and changes to slogans are some of the things transcreation experts can advise you on.
Why Transcreation Is an Effective Tool for Globalization
Transcreation is excellent for creating content that appeals to a global audience. It allows for the effective localization of global marketing materials by ensuring that the right message is relayed and the desired emotions are evoked. Today, more and more companies/governments are opting for transcreation services to ensure the right message is conveyed to the masses.
Why Companies Need Transcreation or Marketing Translation
Transcreation ensures that your marketing texts are adapted into a new culture effectively. Transcreation experts have a deeper understanding of the source text as well as the target language. Apart from that, they know about copywriting and marketing best practices that are sure to give you an edge in a new market. For these reasons, they are best placed to provide you with high-quality online translations that go a long way in helping you achieve your goals.
To wind up; here is how you can use transcreation effectively:
- Use transcreation for advertising, marketing, and fictional content.
- Use transcreation for globalizing your business. For customer manuals and guides, translations can come in handy.
- Research your industry and target market before the transcreation of your content.
That said, you can make a choice of either transcreation or translation to use in your business. Each tool is useful depending on your needs.
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