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Transcreation

Transcreation allows for a translation specific to your needs. Our professional copywriters provide flawless texts that read well and match perfectly with your company’s tone of voice.

What is transcreation?

Transcreation is the transfer of a message from one language to another, while maintaining the message, tone and style of that text. If done correctly, the message will evoke the same associations and emotions in the other language.

With this, transcreation surpasses translation. Particularly for texts intended for sales or marketing, transcreation offers a lot of added value. This way, the message in the other language remains just as effective as in the source language.

When do you choose transcreation?

Transcreation is mainly used for creative texts. You want the reader to be excited by the text, to be activated to do or buy something. Or you want to use sentiment to influence the reader’s opinion in a positive way.

Examples of applications are:

  • branding texts;
  • testimonials or reference texts;
  • video games;
  • mobile apps;
  • ad copy;
  • slogans;
  • texts with lots of humour or puns.

But there are many other examples. Is the effect of the message in the other language the most important purpose of the text? Then you should choose transcreation.

What are the benefits of transcreation?

Your texts are not only translated when you choose transcreation, it also ensures that your message remains intact and is conveyed in a way that suits both your company’s tone of voice and the reader’s background. This has the advantage that the effectiveness of the text for the intended audience will be greater.

Thus, the emphasis in transcreation is on evoking a feeling and much less, as in a translation, on the correct correspondence between the source and the target text. By comparison: in the translation of contracts, it is essential that the translation is completely in line with the original text. There is absolutely no question of the translator being “creative” with that.

“Transcreation” is a combination of the words “translation” and “creation”. This means that the text is adapted from the original language to the desired language. The emphasis is on maintaining the message, style and feel of the text.

How do we proceed?

During the process of transcreation, we take a number of important steps to ensure the intent of your message is properly secured. In doing so, we apply an ideal mix of translation and copywriting.

  • We translate the text where it suffices.
  • We rewrite sentences in the other language, matching the intended style and quality.
  • When rewriting, we take into account the cultural background of the intended audience.
  • We localise the translation by adding idioms and examples that fit the target language and culture.
  • We ensure that the intent, tone and style of the message remains intact.

We may even advise on the use of different images for a text, so that they better suit the intended purpose.

It is also of added value to have the transcreation of a text preceded by a keyword research so that the desired result can also be taken into account for indexing by search engines in connection with global SEO.

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What is the difference between transcreation and translation?

Translation involves transferring the text from the original language to the desired language. The translator translates “what it says”, which is the exact intent for many texts. This is however not the same as a “literal” translation. Even in a translation, it is important to achieve a flowing end result, so the reader does not immediately get the idea that they are reading a translated text. However, the translation says exactly what was also said in the source text. That is the definition of translation. And this is where translation and transcreation differ.

The word actually says it all: “transcreation” is a combination of the words “translation” and “creation”. Transcreation ensures the text is adapted from the original language to the desired language. The emphasis is on preserving the message, style and feel of the text.

This is a much more creative process than translation, which is why it is performed by creative copywriters. The end result is a text that functions like the source text, but can be completely different in terms of choice of words. It will be better appreciated by readers from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Transcreation requires more than just linguistic expertise; creativity and understanding of the culture of the target market are also key.

The importance of a good briefing

Transcreation aims to adjust a text such that your texts will convey the same message in any language. We can do this largely based on our knowledge of the language and culture of the country for which the text is intended.

It is an added value if you can properly define your organisation’s vision of a good text, so that the requirements for the texts are clear to our professional copywriters. It is good to have some guidelines, because in a creative process like transcreation personal preference can play a much larger role than in translation. The fact is that the line between what is “good” and what is “not good” is less clear-cut when it comes to the feel of a text.

Before we start this process together, we therefore prefer to start by working out a style guide. This allows us to define starting points to determine the style and quality you envision. A style guide covers topics such as:

  • Who is the target audience and how do we want to address them?
  • Use of words; what should we leave out and what should we actually leave in?
  • Practical examples.

We will keep expanding the style guide over the course of the collaboration to include examples based on lessons learnt together. For example, what did or did not work well?

In addition to a good style guide, a multilingual glossary is useful for achieving proper application of business vocabulary.

What are the costs of transcreation?

If you’ve commissioned translations before, you’re probably used to a word rate. This is a logical choice in translation, because we can make a good estimate in advance of how much time will be needed to carry out the translation. As a result, the costs for a translation are clear and final at the start of the assignment.

For transcreation, we work with an hourly rate, and there are a number of good reasons for this.

The main reason is that it is usually not clear how much work will be required for a particular text at the start of the work. Depending on the briefing and the purpose of the text, a creative copywriter will need to do more or less research. The content may require many changes, or perhaps none at all.

The transcreation of a three-word slogan may end up requiring half a working day. All because the precise wording of a slogan is very decisive for its effectiveness. This often involves working with multiple versions and meetings with the client and other copywriters. Sometimes we even have to conduct a full-fledged investigation based on a few possible alternatives until it is clear which version is the best match for the original version.

However, sometimes the results of translation and transcreation might not be so far apart at all. Especially if the source text was well-written to begin with and if there are no major cultural differences. In these cases, the investment for transcreation may be equivalent to the investment for translation. The difference, of course, is that we have conducted an important assessment of the effectiveness of the text.

The hourly rate can vary greatly based on the language requested, but the range is usually between €65 and €125 per hour.

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