What is Transcreation?

If you are a big traveler than you might’ve noticed some advertisements having different names than their United States English counterpart. For example, an Old Navy commercial in the England would advertise their underwear much different than the way the United States advertises theres. The English call their underwear “pants” while the US calls them “underwear”. Were an (UK) English commercial about underwear to appear in the States most people would be confused. Now, most people would consider this practice in marketing as translation, however, there is a difference between this style of marketing and translation.

The Difference Between Translation and Transcreation

Transcreation is the process of translating something from one language to the new audience’s dominant language, same as translation would. However, transcreation isn’t changing the actual words into the new language’s words. Transcreation is translating the actual message being sent into context the new audience will understand. It isn’t the words who are important, it’s the message behind it.

An example of this would be trying to advertise something to a foreign market, like Japan, when it’s original ad is played in the United States. Were you to advertise a car in Japan, you wouldn’t use the same formula as you would in the United States. The ultimate message cars in the United States sends are people want to be them or want them. In Japan, this message will still be sent, but the message will be sent differently.

Were they to say, “your car will cause an explosion of attention from your peers,” it would cause an uproar in Japan. To change this meaning, they would say, “you will be the one all your colleagues envy.” It gets the point across—you will be wanted by others—and doesn’t take away from the actual message. Were the advertiser to just translate the words straight into Japanese, the company in charge will lose thousands of dollars and credibility.

This is why transcreation is charged by the hour—or how big the project is—and translation is charged by the amount of words being translated. In fact, transcreators start their meetings off with creative ideas to determine where they want to branch out too. Transcreators will then typically have to spend hours trying to identify the perfect way to recreate the same emotions felt in the original ad.

Most transcreators are also writers for this reason. They know where to go with the idea and know how to word it based on the cultures ideals. Transcreators also advise on how websites will look and feel. With different societies experiencing their senses in alternative ways, it’s important to layer every aspect in their respective culture.

Using Transcreations in Your Marketing

Transcreators are necessary in the new marketing world. International business is at an all-time high, which means they need to market to these different communities as well. Most transcreators can speak different languages for this purpose, which is why they are rare to find. Thankfully, Creative Media Design (CMD) is in supply of them and even details the various services they have on their list of options offered.

Whether it’s casting, recording, or mixing, CMD has people to do the work. Their staff is incredibly knowledgeable about their respective careers, and will supply you with the resources you need. They even lay out several demos for potential producers and cast directors to examine. Being in the entertainment industry can be a terrifying experience, unless you work with the right people.