What is Transcreation?

Transcreation: The process of adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context.

The phrase has historically been used by advertising and marketing professionals looking to transfer the meaning of a message into a new language without losing intended meaning. Today, all different types of professionals are using the term including: product managers, project managers, c-suite executives, and public relations professionals.

The aim of a transcreated message is to successfully evoke the same emotions and contextual relevance in the new language as the original or source language. This includes words, graphics, video, audio, and cultural nuances.

There are a series of terms with similar meaning:

‘creative translation’
‘cross-market copywriting’
‘international copy adaptation’
‘marketing translation’
‘internationalization’
‘localization’
‘cultural adaptation’.

All of these can be boiled down to taking the essence of a message and re-creating it in another language or dialect. Some companies have done this well and has Business Insider pointed out in The 11 Worst Foreign Ad Translation Fails some companies don’t transcreate quite as well as they should.

-Ryan Frankel
Co-Founder and CEO
@rvfrankel

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