Transcreation: A Guide to Service Processes

Haribo German language packaging

What is Transcreation?

Transcreation is a type of linguistic service which allows businesses to ensure that the emotional response in individuals that is evoked in one language, can be replicated across a variety of languages and cultures. Not only this, but the consultative process needed to successfully transcreate helps to avoid marketing blunders and cultural insensitivities that may cause offence. In essence, transcreation helps ensure a company’s original content resonates across all markets.

It achieves this by taking the overarching message of the source text and transferring it into the target language(s), maintaining tone, purpose and style. The source text is often not as strictly adhered to with transcreation, and liberties can be taken with the target text to ensure that the original message from the source is best maintained.

How does it differ from Translation/Localisation?

Before going over the process, it’s worth clarifying the question, how is this different from translation/localisation?

Translation involves a more word-for-word adaptation of a source text into a target language. The meaning and context of a translated file should remain the same as the source text, and faithfulness to the source text is key. Localisation goes one step further, and ensures that any cultural references, names etc. are adapted to be made appropriate for the target audience and to create a copy the reads like an original. The translation is, therefore, not wholly word for word, but the localised text remains faithful to the source. Where translation/localisation are far more word for word, transcreation is a more sense for sense adaptation of source content.

What can Transcreation be used for?

Given its focus on producing a maintained emotional response, transcreation is most often used where emotional responses to content are priority, such as marketing campaigns, advertising and slogans. One of the best examples of transcreation and its use within marketing is the slogan for Haribo, in English: “Kids and grown-ups love it so – the happy world of HARIBO”. When you look at the slogans in other languages, you’ll notice that, while they do not translate directly word for word, the tone is maintained, the rhyme is maintained, and the sense of Haribo not just being a sweet for kids is maintained.

Haribo transcreation example

How does the process work?

  • Brief & call – We would be provided a brief on the potential transcreation project, which would include an overview of your requirement. A form is provided for you to fill in, outlining details about the organisation, the ideal target audience in the target language(s) and how the transcreation should be styled to produce the same emotive response. A call is ideally organised with the linguist present to iron out any queries from either side.
  • Project Approval & Launch – Upon completion of the initial consultation, the proposal is approved and our linguist is set to work on the transcreation task. Any linguistic queries which come up as the project progresses are handled. Transcreation is sent to a second native linguist for proofreading, and finally a non-linguistic QA is carried out by a Dialogue PM.
  • Delivery – After the transcreation is completed, the transcreated file is formatted and delivered, ready for review.
  • Review & Approval – The transcreation is then sent off for review, to ensure that the language used helps to maintain the intended sense outlined in the brief. Typically, a second call is arranged after the initial review is completed, to share any feedback gathered, and we remain on hand in case of any queries or suggested amends, until a final copy is produced and approved by all parties.

At Dialogue, we can help you to launch your new, multilingual marketing campaign and help you throughout the transcreation process. Why not contact us today to book in an initial call, and launch your new marketing weapon?

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