Transcreation is a creative translation process that involves adapting the source text so that the message and emotional intent are the same in the target language.
A hybrid of translation and creation, transcreation is a process that combines language, emotion and culture. It requires artistic skills and talent, along with a deep understanding of two cultures.
If we’ve learned anything in our first steps towards globalization, it’s that we don’t all speak the same language, literally and figuratively. Each culture has its own ideas, beliefs and taboos, as well as its own methods of verbal, non-verbal and written communication. Transcreating a message doesn’t mean replacing a word with its equivalent in another language, but recreating an equivalent message targeting a new culture.
In professional settings, transcreation is most often used in marketing and advertising projects aimed at a culture that’s different from the company’s native culture. It enables companies to adapt plays on words, taglines and slogans to create hooks adapted to the target audience that have the desired effect. The goal of this type of message is to create an emotional response or an immediate reaction. This means the tone, context and style are just as important as the words.