Transcreation is a relatively new term that originated in the English-speaking marketing and advertising world. A combination of translation and creation, it refers to the revreation a text for a different target audience. Transcreation takes the original (source) text, deconstructs its intentions and underlying cultural assumptions, heritage, values, and beliefs, and then re-creates it in the target language.
The transcreation process draws on the means available in the target language and cultural discourse to convey as much of the original message and intent, style, and tone of voice as possible, finding appropriate representations of idiom, humor, dialect, and context that work in the target environment. To make up for details that cannot be “copied” into the target culture, it looks for appropriate images, sayings, and concepts to bring the message to life and elicit the desired response.
“Transcreation is to translation what copywriting is to writing.” (Percy Balemans)
So how is transcreation different from translation? Because good translations have always sought to mediate on more than just a linguistic level. Transcreation takes the art of translation to the next level. When we talk about transcreation, we usually think of marketing and advertising texts — which unlike most technical texts will appeal to the reader’s emotions and cultural background, and often cherish the unique, the unexpected term, the pun, the hidden allusion. Transcreating these will often involve much more than most other translation tasks.
(A close relative is literary translation, which serves a different purpose but is often faces many of the same challenges.)
“Transcreation balances these two imperatives: promoting a globally recognizable brand while tailoring the advertising message for local markets. Finding the balance between global and local can be quite complex, and it is critical that all factors are considered when planning an international campaign.”
Triacom makes your global copy at home in Germany.