Transcreation combines translation and creation to rework a message in a new language by putting emphasis on the emotional impact of its tone, style, and voice.

What is the difference between transcreation and translation?

Transcreation, as opposed to translation, does not focus on the words being used to convey a message. This is the main and crucial difference between the two processes. Oftentimes, transcreation is not even done by translators.

On a global scale, transcreation is mostly used in marketing. However, it can also happen in cultural and artistic contexts, where source ideas and concepts are re-adapted for a different audience in the target language. Even in those cases, the use of transcreation is focused on marketing. For product or brand strategists, reach and emotional engagement of the target audience are crucial.

Therefore, when aiming to expand the reach of a product or brand, marketing departments often partner with translators specialized in transcreation or creative writers to create a completely new copy in the target language. This helps to ensure that the final transcreated product speaks to the target audience entirely and evokes a similar feeling and reaction with them.

From a creative perspective, transcreation is a niche. There are not many transcreators out there and even though it has found its way into the curriculum of some translation departments across the globe, it has not realized its full potential so far. The reaction in the new target audience is key for engagement and generating leads, which ultimately will translate into more conversions for the given product or brand. Transcreation is a tool for marketers for successful launches in foreign markets.

How to recognize a good transcreator?

A transcreator, the person carrying out the transcreation process, is often a creative writer in the target language. Nevertheless, translators can sometimes be transcreators as well. There are plenty of translators who are fond of copywriting and familiar with the handling of creative briefs. What a translator in this capacity needs above all is superb knowledge of grammar, style, and register in both the source and target language.

In contrast, a professional transcreator needs to understand the source language enough to be able to grasp the concept in the source language. However, the transcreator receives a creative brief in the target language and it is here where the real skills of a transcreator come into play and the skills of a creative writer will perfectly align.

In the end, the transcreator needs to deliver a final work product of high quality in the target language for which the transcreation has been handled. And since transcreation and marketing are so closely knit, a couple of edits or a variety of samples can be required for the specific project. These allow testing and market surveying before taking a final decision.

What are some business benefits of transcreation?

From a business perspective, transcreation offers a huge potential for better market reach in the respective target language. The return on investment for transcreation might not be easily measurable. The determination of a list of factors that should be taken into account for a calculation of ROI for transcreation is an initial step.

Transcreation is the future of marketing translation. And in order to fully embody the role of a transcreator, a combination of experience in creative writing and translation are the key. With this skill set, engaging and converting results will be obtained in the target language of the relevant foreign market. Transcreation can be considered a new essential for international marketing.