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Transcreation vs translation

How does Transcreation differ from Translation

Transcreation and translation are both language service options but are very different from each other. It is important to be aware of their difference so you can better determine what your business may need for its growth.


What does Transcreation mean?

Transcreation is the process of converting content in one language to another while maintaining its initially intended meaning, tone and style. While during translation, we only rework with existing ideas and content, transcreation involves entirely modifying the content to better suit the culture of the targeted market. Transcreation essentially comprises of translation as well as copywriting. It does all that translation does and more by trying to uphold the brand’s essence through the content even in another language.

The content may be entirely different where certain segments may be additional or omitted. It isn’t a word-to-word translation but a new creation built to better communicate the brand’s message. A direct translation may not resonate with your new audience due to cultural differences, thus, transcreation helps solve this obstacle very effectively.


Key Differences

  1. Creativity

During translation, the translator is required to accurately convert every element of the content without any alterations to the literal meaning whereas with transcreation, the specialist possesses a creative license to alter the content as long as the intended emotions are communicated well enough. In the case of medical documents, emotions are not involved and an accurate translation is required. Thus, in such cases, transcreation may have no use.


  1. Time and Cost

It goes without saying that since transcreation specialists are required to put in more work than an average translator, they would naturally require more time and would charge their services slightly higher. Thus, it is important to take these factors into account while determining your budget for the same. It would be unfair to impose unrealistic deadlines or negotiate the same prices that you would to a translator.


  1. Search Engine Optimization

A transcreation specialist would be required to have in-depth knowledge in SEO as they are essentially creating new content that would require its on optimization for search engines. Translators on the other hand are generally not required to have any advanced skills for the same.


  1. Creative brief

If you have decided to hire a transcreation specialist, you would be required to provide them with a creative brief, similar to one that was created for your original content. They will need additional information about the analysis of your target market, the brand’s essence, and the core message to be communicated. A translator does not require a creative brief as their task is merely to translate the content as accurately as possible without changing the literal meaning as long as it makes sense.


  1. Copywriters

Transcreation specialists are copywriters that provide services in other languages. They keep your brand’s core message alive and help in evoking the same emotional response in a new market with a different culture than the original. If your brand’s marketing content is designed to trigger emotional responses in people, mere translation may not work when expanding your business overseas. People from different cultures need to be approached differently to truly capture the essence of the brand. Thus, in such a case transcreation can make a real impact on your sales.


About ActiveLoc

ActiveLoc is a young and energetic team of localization, technology, project management, and business expert professionals who strive to provide the finest language services by working with native language experts.

Our core team has over 13 years of extensive experience helping businesses to communicate and operate in many languages and geographical locations. Get in touch with us today!