CPSL Transcreation services

The Importance Of Using Transcreation Vs Translation

In this article, we’ll look at how to recognize when you should use transcreation instead of basic translation. This is a key element of global marketing content and not something that should be neglected, so consider all the information carefully. It’s designed to save you time and – in some cases –  money when choosing the best route for your international growth.

Firstly, it’s important to be cautious about using a “one-size-fits-all” approach when localizing your global marketing content. Many people don’t give much thought to the importance of laying out content in separate categories.  Your content will probably need varying degrees and combinations of localization, translation, and transcreation, so a generalized approach won’t tap into your true needs.

Transcreation As Part Of Your Localization Strategy

Sometimes, the process of localization may appear to be running smoothly until an unexpected problem arises, which can cause havoc with schedules. For example, a customer base in one country suddenly informs you that a particular tagline they’ve been presented by your company doesn’t actually make any sense. In such cases, it’s likely the wrong process was used. Perhaps the slogan was translated when it really needed to be transcreated instead. Transcreation is a more detailed process, which also takes differences in culture into consideration – not just language in isolation.



Transcreation or Translation – 4 steps To Uncover The Best Path

The entire translation effort can be greatly set back if the goals of the global marketing content haven’t been adequately met from the start. It’s important to know the goals of your business, and how they might differ from location to location. So knowing when it’s more appropriate to focus on transcreation, rather than direct translation, is crucial. You can recognize when this need arises by looking for and considering the following:


1 – Categorize Your Marketing Content – Fact Vs. Emotion

Firstly, categorization is essential when it comes to your global marketing content. Different types of content will naturally have different aims, all of which might require slightly different approaches. For instance, factual information, such as the instructions for important medical equipment, must be translated in the most literal sense possible. Translation is generally fine in these cases.

You also have to make sure that the intended tone is retained following the process of translating from one language to another. Making sure the right tone is kept in creative content requires a completely different process. If persuasion and emotion are added to the mix, that’s where transcreation comes in. A linguist with experience in transcreation can ensure that the content conveys the intended impact, no matter what the language.


2 – Recognize Which Forms Of Content Work Best With Transcreation

This leads right into understanding which content will naturally need transcreation. Knowing this can be a serious time-saver, and prevent you from pondering over the matter too much. Content such as app store listings, brochures, collateral with mounds of copy, slogans, taglines, and sales materials are almost always prime candidates for transcreation over direct translation. You don’t need a word for word translation as much as you need the basic intent to be rebuilt from the ground up.


3 – Go Step By Step, don’t reply too heavily on Transcreation

Companies that have experienced poor translation in the past may also rely too heavily on transcreation. It’s important to use it only when necessary. So it’s best to approach all aspects of your localization on a step–by-step basis. While certain materials will naturally leap out as being suitable for transcreation, such as the examples above, you can’t simply wave your hands to decree one method over the other without some careful thought. Be sure to look at every single aspect of your project before deciding one way or the other.


4 – Use A Pilot Program

After the transcreation process has begun, it’s often helpful to use a pilot program with key touch points mapped out. Global marketing campaigns with specific focuses obviously have a lot of goals they need to achieve. The pilot program can help you monitor progress and also take in audience feedback. With this information at your disposal, you can ensure maximum success.

With a reputation for quality translation spanning more than 50 years, CPSL has the experience to manage all of your marketing and communications translation projects. Find out more.

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