What is Transcreation?

It is the skill of tailoring a translation to a local market.

Transcreation ensures that your translated message matches the same marketing message as your original, but tailored for your target market.

You need to think carefully about your target audience and brief us on the brand message you are trying to put across to your customer.

Begin with…

  • your core message?
  • your target audience?
  • age group, demographic et cetera

What is transcreation?

Transcreation Overview

1. What is transcreation?

Transcreation defines the process used by translation, advertising and marketing professionals when adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context so that it is appropriate for its designated local market.

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.

2. How is transcreation implemented?

Transcreation begins with your original source marketing material and brief. To assist STAR you need to first define the marketing persona that you are targeting or selling to:

  • What is your core message?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Age group, demographic, et cetera?

What is your communication style? Do you want the final document to be lively, corporate, funky or informative?

Briefing STAR in advance greatly improves your final results.

3. Transcreation Process at STAR

Translation + Copywriting = Transcreation

We follow a 2-step process for transcreation:

  1. Translation: We first translate your document into the target language
  2. Post-Translation Copywriting: After translation, the target language document is read by our professional copywriters who then tailor, edit and update the document to match and address the style and target persona defined for your marketing campaign. Your document is effectively rewritten for your target audience

4. Why Transcreation and translation are different?

Translation and transcreation are related processes, but they are not identical. During the translation process the professional translator will adjust your message, phrase, wording and terminology to ensure it accurately reflects the source document in the target language.

However, sometimes a client requires a further local modification to their message. As an example, Intel, the computer chip-maker had a campaign designed around its “Intel: Sponsors of Tomorrow” that it wanted to launch in the Brazilian markets. However, research showed that “Sponsors of Tomorrow”, rendered in Portuguese, implied that Intel would not deliver on its promises immediately, but rather “tomorrow” or in the future. The strapline was modified after translation into Portuguese to read “Intel: In love with the future”, thus appealing to the passionate nature of the target audience. So, the intent of the message was kept, but the text itself was different.

5.The positive and negative aspects of transcreation and market personas

The major positive aspect of transcreation is that your marketing message is tailored to your target audience and so you get a much better reaction from your target audience. They feel your material is localised to their market.

The downside for brand management is that your corporate message can become diluted or defragmented over time. Your text will change and this will impact your brand consistency. So, it is important for global brands to ensure that a measure of policing is done to ensure your transcreated product stays on brand. This ensures that customers that are bilingual or multilingual get a consistent message.

Developing focused marketing personas will help keep your translated and transcreated documents on brand. If you know your target audience:

  • Demographic profile that is age, male or female, spend profile et cetera)
  • Company communication style whether is it corporate, active, lively, passive voice et cetera, then this process is easier to manage as you can share this with your language partner

For example, with your style of your tone of voice you could specify, that we require:

  • A confident, strong tone of voice: one that reflects the said corporate values should come through

Text should be:

  • Passionate: write strong positive messages
  • Open: use words that involve and inspire
  • Straightforward: write in a simple form to be understood by all
  • Effective: use simple descriptive language

Our target demographic is:

  • Male or female
  • Age 25 to 45
  • Director or COO level

Successful transcreation requires that, when working with your translation or transcreation agency you should brief them on the target profile and how you want your company to be seen and communicated with. Just asking for a transcreation is simply not enough.