4 differences between marketing translation and transcreation

Published on 19/07/2021

Transcreation is a new concept introduced in the 20th century, which consists of the desire to make more use of the creative spirit of translators in order to strengthen the local dimension of translations.

Unlike traditional marketing translation , it focuses on creating a new message for a target audience of a different culture, rather than trying to translate advertising messages literally.

Transcreation is increasingly used in technological fields such as websites, video games and mobile applications.

1. Transcreation = a clearer message


While marketing translation usually translates the information in advertising messages just like that , transcreation will ensure that the essential information is given at the beginning to keep the reader's (or listener's) attention and add details later if necessary.

Transcreation, plays with the curiosity of the public, while respecting the profitability that an advertising campaign must be.

2. Better localisation than marketing translation

Better localisation than marketing translation

To make a product or a company public, marketing translation is limited to translating the documentation. Either the target audience is interested... or not.

Transcreation goes beyond those limits, by adapting it to the local culture, so that the audience perceives it as something familiar and natural, in harmony with their own feelings and needs. Allin all more united with their home culture.

Video games, for example, were all in English at first, and then they were (badly) translated. Today, thanks to transcreation, they are well adapted to different markets and their sales are growing.

3. Proper names and slogans are more powerful through transcreation

Proper names and slogans are more powerful through transcreation

Sometimes marketing translations fail to translate proper names or slogans such as “Haribo makes children happy, and adults too" for Haribo sweets.

With the transcreation, this Haribo slogan has become the unforgettable "Kids and grown-ups love it so – the happy world of Haribo"

The job of a professional translator, in the case of transcreation, is therefore to become an advertising executive to create new slogans.

4. Transcreation allows us to transfer emotions

Transcreation allows us to transfer emotions

In marketing translation the emotional content that the companies try to express, is often lost. For example, a pun that makes you laugh or a proverb that makes you think is usually not translatable.

But transcreation seeks to bring back something equivalent by being inspired by the original and stick better in the people’s minds.

Based o these four differences we conclude that transcreation is what sells the most.

To create effective advertising campaigns for a foreign market, our translation agency AbroadLink Translations offers translations based on the principles of transcreation.

This way you can avoid the pitfalls of bad marketing translations and further adapt to your target customers!

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Virginia Pacheco's picture
Virginia Pacheco

Blog writer and Community Manager interested in multiculturality and linguistic diversity. From her native Venuzuela, she has travelled and lived for many years in France, Germany, Cameroon and Spain, passing on her passion for writing and her intercultural experiences.

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