The Difference Between Marketing Translation And Transcreation


Many marketing companies spend their time, money and effort to develop marketing collateral mainly targeting the domestic audience. However, when you expand and attempt to market the brand to new overseas markets, the linguistic and cultural hurdles can appear to be rather overwhelming. But for your international campaign to be a success, you need to take these factors into consideration. This is where marketing translation and transcreation come into play.


Defining marketing transcreation


Transcreation can be defined as a creative translation of international advertising. Other terms that are also for transcreation are international copy alteration, creative translation, cultural adaptation, etc. Transcreation is essentially the advertising message created in another language, molded to address the new target audience.  The marketing objective of transcreation is to stimulate the same wants, needs, and emotions in the overseas audience as the communication does for the domestic audience. This may call for creating new branding, visuals, and copy. While the alterations remain close to the original, the appearance may differ, but the end result remains the same i.e. the audience wanting to buy the product.


The term “transcreation” began to be used commonly in the 90s when many companies began marketing their brands in international markets due to advancements in technological capabilities and opening up of global channels and international marketing proficiency was in greater demand. People working in the field of international advertising required to distinguish between traditional marketing translation to a more creative form i.e. marketing transcreation. Today, the term transcreation has spread far and wide.


Marketing translation


Basically, marketing translation comprises translation and adaptation of copy to local languages. This may include the alteration of semantic elements like idioms, phrases, quotes, etc. to localize the copy for the target audience. Translation essentially relates to the adaptation of the copy rather than changes in imagery or branding. Visit this site


Difference between marketing transcreation and translation


Both marketing transcreation, as well as marketing translation, have similarities. Both include the adaptation of the message from one language to another. While marketing translation may include the translation of advertising tagline, copy and logos, using proper language localization to suit the target audience, transcreation adopts a different approach, where not only are the cultural idiosyncrasies, idioms, etc. of the language are adapted, but the entire project is considered as a whole.


Marketing translation is not simply translation done word-for-word, the cultural references, humor, slang, etc. are localized to suit the target audience. For instance, in the UK if you are using “raining cats and dogs”, it would be adapted to “raining ropes” in France. Marketing transcreation, on the other hand, considers the objectives and desired result of the original advertisement and then designing the new communication to achieve the same results for the new target audience. In this case, branding, imagery, headlines, body copy, taglines, etc. can be changed to ensure that the target audience feels and behaves in the same manner when looking at the new advertisement as when they looked at the original one, irrespective of their cultural and linguistic background.


For instance, if you are adapting an English poster to suit a Chinese audience, marketing translation would essentially adapt the copy into Mandarin and use it in the existing poster creative, while marketing transcreation will consider the poster in totality and may change the color scheme of the poster to having more of red as it is associated with happiness in China and reducing the use of white, as it denotes mourning and loss, while changing the copy into Mandarin as well. Language Learning Tips: From Study Abroad to Online Degrees (E ...


Getting the communication right with marketing transcreation


The original advertisements are usually created with a certain objective of what they should make the target audience feel, the call of action and what they want the audience to do after seeing the advertisements. These are the vital points that the translators and marketing transcreators must understand. They must understand the motivation and vision behind the brand’s communication and campaign. Only if this is understood, they will be able to create effective communication that brings the brand’s vision to life for the new target audiences.


Marketing transcreation experts


Just as in the case of marketing translation, marketing transcreation is usually done by linguistic experts and people who can approach marketing very creatively. They must also have a deep understanding of the cultures of the country where the advertising originated and that of the target country. Advertising and translation services have expert teams who can undertake marketing transcreation and translation projects and these teams usually comprise linguists who have in-depth knowledge of international marketing as well. These specialists must possess the flair for creative design and writing that will allow them to handle both marketing translation as well as marketing transcreation tasks adeptly.




So if you are targeting to market your brand overseas, both marketing translation, as well as market transcreation, can help you do so. If you feel that messages can be adapted effectively by using simple translation, then marketing translation will suit your requirements. However, if the entire content of the advertising needs to be re-designed and re-created for the new audience, then marketing transcreation is the best option. Both the methods complement one another and both contribute their intrinsic values to the entire international marketing process. Nevertheless, whichever option you decide to use, delivering the message in the right way is of utmost importance.