Increasingly the word transcreation is popping up on the internet and you may be wondering what it means. Well, building off of last week's blog, transcreation means adapting a marketing message from one language to another while keeping the tone, style, and intent the same. This generally means that marketing messages should not be translated word for word, as such a translation would result in stilted, awkward text and is likely to have diminished impact in the target market. Rather, the professional translator should read the entire text to be translated and then render it in the target language so that it accurately reflects the intentions and feel of the original.
Often transcreation will require translators to substitute different jokes, appropriate in-country slang, or modified rhymes. If your original marketing message ties into what's currently in vogue in your culture, for example with teen slang or referenced pop music, your translator will need to understand the culture of the destination language well enough to use appropriate references from that market so that the essence of the marketing message remains the same and is relevant to the local consumer.
So the next time you take your marketing campaign out of country, give your translation team a little leeway to fully adapt your message to the local market. You won't get a word-for-word translation, but you will get great results.