What’s The Difference between Transcreation and Translation?

By Stacey
Aug 5, 2015 · 2 min

Transcreation is quite a new term, coined by the language, entertainment and advertising industries.

What’s The Difference between Transcreation and Translation? | One Hour Translation

Transcreation is the process of taking a message in one language and transporting it to a different language. But transcreation is not a synonym for translation, so what’s the difference?

Transcreation is transforming a global message including written content, images, and visual designs. It also includes accounting for the cultural context of the written communication, as in a brochure, advertisement, or a website.

The process of transcreation means that we must look at the message as a whole, and then later adapt it to its intended audience whilst maintaining design elements to ensure that the message stays consistent; particularly when handling international markets.

Why Is Transcreation Important?

It’s true that transcreation is quite a new term, coined by the language, entertainment and advertising industries. The origin of the word transcreation has to do with the fact that it specifically refers to translating marketing material. The only kind of translation that has elements unique to one culture is marketing material: these elements might include cultural references, ideas, design preferences, plays on words, drawings, colors and their connotations, and images.

Creating A Meaningful Message Through Transcreation

There’s a lot of creativity and many subtle differences that go together with marketing products, and the transcreation process, as its name suggests, highlights the adaptation of all elements to create a meaningful message for the specific audience.

During the process of transcreation, people carrying out this work can choose to reconstruct the method in which information in presented, ensuring that the marketing message is relevant to its intended audience. The original content is only used as a base for the transcreated version in a different language. It’s almost like asking someone to re-write something in their own words.

The Transcreation of Spider-Man

A well-known example of transcreation is the Spiderman comic in India: the American boy in the original comic is recreated into a young Indian boy by the name of Pavitr Pabhakar: this is obviously a play on words based on the name Peter Parker! All the elements of the original narration were recreated and replaced, thus giving it an Indian context. Even Spiderman’s suit didn’t escape – it was altered to adhere to cultural norms and tastes of India.

So, transcreation might be a good option for your business, and certainly worth considering if you’re trying to reduce the distance between different cultures and countries in order to achieve a worldwide audience.

Image courtesy porternovelli.com

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