Transcreation is about POV

What is transcreation?

Perspective shifts influence perceived value

In short: Transcreation means changing what is actually being said to match the culture of your targeted audience, their interests, their habits…

Every good translation requires some adaptation, like changing some adjectives to reflect the right tone in your language, rearranging the sentence structure to have a natural flow, or adding an extra information to a notion that might not be well known by the targeted audience.Transcreation is more than that.

For example, imagine you are adapting short city guides: visitors from country A might typically mostly be interested in all the cultural points of interest in a destination, while visitors from country B might prefer shopping. Some nationalities may be most concerned about whether a hotel has air conditioning and room service, while for others it’s all about on-site restaurants and spa. So, it might be worthy to rewrite hotel or city guides upon translation.

Once, years ago, my team had to find an interesting topic for a blog article to promote a hotel in Thailand to the US market. Traveling solo as a woman in Thailand was a good SEO lead we found, and the article came out to be quite successful. It was a great fit for this hotel very much oriented towards women. You can imagine how straight-forward translation was not an option, when the hotel requested if we could provide a similar article in the local language…

How do you decide whether transcreation is necessary?

In short: master the culture of the target audience, know your customer inside out, understand the intention of the content.

Knowing your target audience is key: professional translators and international marketing consultants are here to help you (us!). A semantic/SEO study is also an extremely useful indicator of what an audience is really looking for.

Understand your customer and the intent of the content: this will help you gauge how much freedom you have to adapt, whether that means discussing the customer’s strategy directly with them or questioning the project manager who gave you the translation job.

Want to know more or get help with transcreation? Just ask.