How is transcreation different from translation?
Translation is a process that aims to convert written text in the source language into optimally equivalent text in the target language. Transcreation, also known as “creative translation” is a process of rewriting the same text in a different language, taking into account the cultural context. Transcreation requires an in-depth understanding of the original content combined with good copywriting style in the target language. Transcreation is even less literal than what is referred to as “liberal” or “non-literal” translation:
TRANSCREATE = TRANSLATE + CREATE
Unlike translation, the goal of transcreation is not to say the exact same thing in the target as in the source language. That is sometimes not only difficult or impossible due to linguistic and cultural differences, but sometimes it is simply not expedient. For example someone could feel offended or develop the wrong impression of your company and your product or service — the opposite of what you were trying to make. At a minimum differences and barriers rather than connections would be emphasized.
Transcreation, by contrast, will save you from the awkwardness of literal translation that may come out incomprehensible, silly, or even offensive to a target audience from a different culture.
Compared to “normal”, straightforward translation, the effect of transcreation will be more appealing and more convincing, meaning more success with leads and conversions and ultimately a more successful product or service, more market share, more income and more long-term value for your company.
The goal of transcreation is to skilfully reflect the ideas and emotions conveyed by your original copy, articulating them in whatever style and manner will be the most appropriate to the target local market, getting the same reaction and effect in both languages.
Transcreation — combining linguistic and cultural and business awareness — serves to render communication more effective in a foreign market while retaining all of the impact, emotion and meaning of the original content, and to support the client in providing each brand, product or service with a strong and consistent international image.
Transcreation will help you improve your communication with customers from different cultural areas, transcending the boundaries of culture and language. If your translations are meant to reach a recipient from another culture, then transcreation is the right approach.