It is widely known that advertising texts for more than one target language requires translation but then what is transcreation? And more importantly, when do we need transcreation? Before the translation of every text, every project is analyzed in terms of purpose, complexity, target audience and customer’s needs. There you can find the clue to what your project needs.

With the guidance and help from a language professional you can learn what suits your project best in every situation. The first step to define what kind of language service your material needs is identifying the type of text. By reading objectively, you will be able to determine whether it is a technical text, a literary piece, a communicative text, or a creative text, among other varieties. Here it is crucial to observe whether the language used is plain or a rich text that includes metaphors, similes, comparisons and other literary features.

Sometimes in our mother tongue we make use of literary devices without even perceiving them. And these may become visible to you when you analyze the phrasing in a deep level. Then, the kind of translation that your documents need is a more complex one. This is the case of advertising material, texts that include jokes or winks to the reader, and some articles that use metaphoric language for conveying ideas. Also some texts with vivid descriptions like food recipes, book or film reviews and blog entries can be this kind of rich texts.

Most advertising content is often complex in terms of the message that is being transferred thus a plain translation of words probably will not be enough for translating the idea behind the words. Then a transcreation work is needed. What does it mean? The original text is read and analyzed in context with the images and graphics that support it. The concept of the idea is decoded. The concept is transferred to the target language and the phrasing rebuilt from that “migrated” concept. The essentials are the spirit of the new linguistic construction and so it maintains not only the concept but the spirit of the original text.

The most relevant aspect of this kind of work is that by doing this “splitting” process of reading in context, extracting the main idea and the different layers of message and rebuilding the text in the target language from the concept, the result is a more faithful version of the original text than the possible outcome of a standard translation. The concept is reproduced into a different language, which is also a different culture, in an efficient way, producing the same effect on the audience.

The transcreation of the text is an enriching tool, and the most appropriate one for advertising for example. It can help you transmit a speech to an audience you are not so familiar with in an effective way.

As the purpose of each text is specific and unique, you need to consider what the best translation method for your document is. Even when you may not realize, there are numerous shades of specific needs for a standard text. When it is a rich text, like an ad, its needs multiply to the level of complexity that requires transcreation. And then, you will want to trust your project to skillful language professionals.

One response to “What is transcreation? Does your project need it?”

  1. Fernanda says:

    Very Useful Article!!! 🙂

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