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The importance of cultural context when transcreating content

Image of hand with swirls of different coloured paints representing cultural context in content

Transcreation is the process of adapting content from one language to another while maintaining the original message and intent. It goes beyond literal translation and involves a deep understanding of the cultural context of the target audience. Transcreation is essential when creating content for local audiences, and cultural context plays a significant role in the success of your content.

Defining cultural context

Cultural context refers to the cultural and social environment in which a message is being received. It includes factors such as: 

  • language
  • customs
  • values
  • beliefs
  • history. 

When creating content for a specific culture, you need to consider the cultural context to ensure that the message is effectively communicated and understood.

Transcreation takes into account the cultural context of the target audience and adapts the content accordingly. This process involves not only translating the words but also re-creating the message to fit the cultural norms and values of the local audience. Transcreators must be aware of the cultural differences between the source and target languages and use appropriate language and tone to ensure that the message is conveyed effectively.

Cultural context in transcreation

The importance of cultural context in transcreation cannot be overstated. If you don’t consider cultural context users may misinterpret your content or worse – be offended. For example, a phrase that is common and acceptable in one culture may be offensive or inappropriate in another. Without understanding the cultural context, a transcreator may translate the phrase directly and cause offense to the target audience.

Global branding and transcreation

Transcreation is essential for global brands that want to reach local audiences. When creating content for a global market, it’s crucial to understand the cultural differences and nuances of each local audience. A message that works well in one country may not be as effective in another. Transcreation allows brands to tailor their message to each local audience, ensuring that the message is relevant and resonates with the target market.

Benefits of transcreation

One of the most significant benefits of transcreation is that it can improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Transcreated content is more likely to connect with local audiences, leading to better engagement and higher conversion rates. By understanding the cultural context of the target audience, transcreators can create content that speaks directly to their: 

  • needs
  • interests
  • values.

Brand consistency in a global market

Transcreation is also important for maintaining brand consistency across different markets. Global brands often have a specific brand identity and messaging that they want to maintain across all markets. Transcreation allows brands to adapt their messaging to local cultures while still maintaining their brand identity. This ensures that the brand is recognisable and consistent across all markets. This is crucial for building trust and loyalty with customers.

Transcreation is particularly important for industries such as healthcare, legal, and financial services. These industries often deal with complex and technical language that requires a high level of accuracy and precision. In these cases, a literal translation may not be sufficient, and transcreation is necessary to ensure that the message is conveyed accurately.

Avoiding cultural faux pas

In addition to improving the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, transcreation can also help to avoid cultural faux pas. When creating content for a local market, it’s important to avoid language or imagery that may be offensive or inappropriate. By understanding the cultural context of the target audience, transcreators can avoid making these mistakes.

Localisation of content

Transcreation allows for localisation of content. Localisation involves adapting content to specific regions within a country or language. For example, there may be regional differences in language, customs, and values within a country that need to be considered when creating content.

Don’t forget there are also significant cultural differences in English speaking countries. What works in America won’t work in Australia or Britain. Transcreation allows for this level of customisation, ensuring that the message resonates with the target audience.

More than translating words

Cultural context is essential when transcreating content for local audiences. Transcreation involves more than just translating words; you need an understanding of the cultural context of the target audience and adapting the message accordingly. 

If you need help localising your content contact us to talk about how we can create Australian-centric content.

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