The transfer of ideas from one language to another
So if we agree that translation is a “creative” process, why do we need the term “transcreation”? And what is “transcreation” exactly?
The term “transcreation” is useful to add more meaning to the process and complexities involved in translating ideas from one culture to another.
Technically speaking, transcreation is translation that calls for a particularly high degree of creativity, but it always involves taking a text in one language and conveying that same message into another language.
In practice, the term is generally used for marketing translations and is itself used as a marketing term by translators to convey to our customers the complexity and, more importantly, the skill and added value of translating marketing content.
Another practical distinction between translation and transcreation is that it is generally necessary for the customer to prepare a brief beforehand so that the translator better understands the purpose of the text to be translated and the parameters within which they can work. Very much like a copywriting project, this brief will specify things like:
- the intended audience
- the tone of voice required, for example: formal or conversational
- the objectives of the text
Basically, a transcreation brief defines the boundaries for how creative the translator can be, in order to properly convey the intent of the source text.