When it comes to global business and marketing, companies need to convey their message to their target audience in a way that resonates with them culturally and linguistically. This is where the concepts of transcreation and translation come into play. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they’re not the same thing. I’m going to explore the key differences between transcreation and translation and when to use each.
Translation is the process of converting a text from one language to another while retaining its original meaning as accurately as possible. Translation aims to convey the same message and intent of the original text without altering its content. It involves understanding the source language and accurately translating it into the target language.
On the other hand, transcreation is the process of adapting a message from one language to another while maintaining its:
Transcreation goes beyond just translating words; it involves creating a new message that resonates with the target audience in their cultural and linguistic context. Transcreation is a more creative process that involves copywriting and marketing skills.
Key differences between transcreation and translation
While translation and transcreation are different processes, they’re both essential in global business and marketing. Here are some key differences between transcreation and translation:
1. Focus: Translation focuses on linguistic accuracy, whereas transcreation focuses on cultural adaptation. Translation aims to retain the original meaning of the text as closely as possible. Transcreation aims to convey the same message but in a way that resonates with the target audience in their cultural and linguistic context.
2. Creativity: Translation is a technical process that requires language skills, while transcreation is a more creative process that requires copywriting and marketing skills. Transcreation involves adapting the message to the target audience while maintaining its:
3. Purpose: Translation is used to convey information, while transcreation is used for marketing and advertising purposes. Transcreation is used for marketing campaigns, slogans and advertisements.
4. Outcome: The outcome of translation is a text that accurately conveys the meaning of the source text in the target language. The outcome of transcreation is a new message that resonates with the target audience in their cultural and linguistic context.
When to use translation
You use translation when you need to convey information accurately from one language to another. Translation is used for documents such as:
- legal contracts
- technical manuals
- academic papers.
When to use transcreation
Use transcreation when you need to adapt a message to the target audience in their cultural and linguistic context. Transcreation is used for:
- marketing campaigns
- voice assistant and chatbot personality content.
Consider a slogan like “Just Do It” from Nike. If you translate this slogan literally into another language, it won’t have the same impact. Transcreation would involve creating a new slogan that resonates with the target audience in their language and culture.
Get your creative on
In conclusion, transcreation and translation are 2 different processes that are essential in global business and marketing. Transcreation is a more creative process that allows you to think about your language and the subtle differences between the same language (such as the various English languages). It’s a great opportunity to flex your creative writing style within the cultural context of the language you’re writing for.
- The art of transcreation: how to adapt your content for a global audience
- The importance of cultural context when transcreating content for local audiences