Here at Simply Mandarin we regularly receive an email or a phone call asking if we can translate a companies marketing message. Although we don’t want to be pedantic about the terminology, what it is that most companies require is transcreation.
What is transcreation?
Transcreation is the process of recreating precise brand content for multilingual consumption. Standard translation and localization services don’t effectively preserve the creative and emotional intent of content that allows it to best resonate in other languages and cultures.
Transcreation is about being true to the message. If it rhymed in the first language it MUST rhyme in the second. It’s not just a straight word for word change. If it’s cheeky in the first it must be cheeky in the second. If it’s ‘street’ in the first it’s got to be ‘street’ in the second. If it’s respectful that’s got be maintained ….it is essential!
Below is a great little digram which we found helpful..
One of the difficulties is that the person involved in the transcreation must fully understand the marketing message in both cultural contexts. They cannot simply have a good working knowledge of both languages, they must also be fully immersed in both countries cultures. They must understand the nuances, subtleties, the history as well as the trends in both countries They must also possess some creative skills (transCREATE).
Examples of transcreation…
Take a look at the blog on International women’s day to see examples of transcreation in action.