Transcreation defines the process used by translation, advertising and marketing professionals of adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context so that it is appropriate for the local market. It is a set of activities – far beyond linguistic effort alone — that completely adapt and transform a marketing concept to suit the target market’s culture. It touches all aspects of a campaign: tag lines, product names, Web content, print media, and multimedia like audio, animations, video, and Web banners. This definition is synonymous with translation; so, what is the difference? Transcreation is a transformation of an overall message which addresses not only written content but also visual design and imagery. Transcreation takes into account the cultural context of a written communication such as an ad, brochure or website.
There is a lot of nuance and creativity that go into creating marketing pieces, and as the name suggests, transcreation stresses adaptation of all of these elements to make a message meaningful to a particular audience: trans creation = ”across” creation, or “beyond” creation. Transcreation is similar to asking someone to rewrite something you have written but in their own words. In this case, the words are in a different language and the writer reconstructs the message emphasizing those facts that are most important to a reader in the target language.
The aim of transcreation is for the material to read as though it was well written in the reader’s language, to create interest in buying your product. During the process of transcreation the transcreationist may choose to restructure how information is presented in order to make the inherent message of the marketing piece more relevant to the target audience. A professionally transcreated message evokes the appropriate emotions for the local market and carries the same underlying message in the target language as it does in the source language.
If you are trying to raise the bar in connecting more effectively with your target audience in overseas markets, then transcreation may be a good option for your company.