When it comes to technical translation, clients need to work with subject matter experts (SMEs) who have deep knowledge, expertise and training in a particular field. SMEs know the specific terminologies of the subject in question, aside from the target country’s culture and language.
With commerce between different countries now easier than ever before, it has become vital for businesses to translate their documents well. Errors in technical translation can be costly, and errors in product branding for the international market can mean the difference between success and failure. That’s where transcreation comes in.
Transcreation goes beyond translation. It is adaptive or creative translation, a hybrid form that blends standard translation and cultural adaption of imagery and content. It requires a lot more than straightforward translation, as the translator must ensure that the message in the source language keeps the same context, tone and emotion as the target language.
It is therefore a combination of translation and creative writing, while ensuring that the marketing message is engaging and relevant to the target language and audience, while the original concept of the brand is still maintained. Most international marketing campaigns today require transcreation.
In the same way that technical translations need subject matter experts, global brand consultants are required for transcreation. This is to ensure that cultural relevance is maintained. International brand consultants provide their expertise and insights on a target market, and can save a company a hefty sum of money, as well as maintain their reputation with effective marketing campaigns.
A brand consultant can provide pertinent details, including what font to use, which words work best with the target audience, and the most effective images to employ. They can also advise you if humor will work or could offend.
For effective transcreation, the translation company first performs a validation process to see if transcreation is necessary. A translator then works with a creative brief, which is a document with all the expectations and requirements, including differences in consumer behavior, culture and language. The result is a translated marketing message that will elicit the same response as the original message.
You might have read of or heard about global brands of good standing committing faux pas when they enter other markets, because they didn’t do their market research well enough. To avoid embarrassing situations, which can also be very costly, many language services providers now offer transcreation services.
Transcreation comes in when standard localization and translation won’t suffice to meet the precise brand requirement for multilingual use. Advertising copywriters are paid handsomely to ensure that all the great features of a brand are highlighted and presented in ways that will resonate in the minds of consumers.
They are not only tasked to inform but also to relate the product to the audience and motivate them to become regular consumers. These things are often lost in straightforward translation. Professional copywriting is an investment, and this is what transcreation aims to achieve – to ensure that the product’s message will still be as effective in the target language and at the same time prevent the risk of brand erosion and miscommunication.
A brand’s message, its colloquialism, linguistic nuances and emotions should be carried across, which is very challenging to translators.
Not all content should be transcreated though. Transcreation should only be used when the essential style, voice and meaning in another language or culture needs to be maintained for localized content to be a success. It is also employed as an assurance that the investment on localization yields the highest return.
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