Marketing translation is a complicated but still an underestimated field. While it involves translation from one language into another, it consists of writing persuasive and appealing content which can have the desired effect on the target audience.
Unlike general and technical translation, marketing translators have to be really good writers first! This is because apart from high-level translation skills, marketing translators need to be highly creative to churn out appealing content in a way that it will click the target audience. Otherwise, literal translation does not work in this field and leaves a really bad impression. In marketing translation, translators have to understand the goal of the copy and then translate keeping that in mind. They have to convey the source message in a culturally acceptable way with their creative sense.
Marketing translation can include transcreation but there is a stark difference between the two.
It is best summarized as a creative international advertising translation. Transcreation refers to a message being presented in another language after it has been molded and edits to suit the new target audience. The idea behind transcreation is to extract the same needs, wants, emotions, perceptions and reactions from the new audience as were intended for the original audience. This may involve making new branding, copy and imagery but the edits have to remain true to the spirit of the source files in order to produce the same end result.
There are many similarities between the two. Both of these involve the conversion of message/copy from one language to another language. Marketing translation can consist of translation of taglines, advertising copy or logos with suitable localization to ensure that the language is appropriate for the target audience. Marketing translation is not just a word to word translation because slang or humor references can completely differ between languages.
An example of marketing translation could be a UK advert that mentioned it ‘raining cats and dogs’. The literal translation would be meaningless but the same idiom in French could be picked out and hence it would be converted to ‘raining ropes’ for a French audience.
Transcreation has a different approach. It does not only aim to adapt humor references, slang and idioms but it aims to recreate the whole project from scratch. Transcreation considers the goals, intention and the desired outcome from the original advertisement and then tries to achieve the same result for a new target audience. In order to ensure that readers are impacted the same way regardless of their language and cultural background – transcreation involves reworking imagery, voice-overs, branding, headlines, copy and taglines.
A very popular example of a successful transcreation approach is iPod Shuffle. In the English-speaking markets, Apple advertised the slogan ‘Small Talk’ for iPod Shuffle. It was simple but quite difficult to translate in multiple languages since the idiomatic phrase became meaningless. Apple recreated the slogan from scratch for each new language. Here is how it transcreated for its four target markets:
·Latin American Spanish: Mira quién habla, or “Look who’s talking.”
·European Spanish: Ya sabe hablar, “already knows how to talk”, something a proud parent might say.
·French: donnez-liu de la voix, or “Let him speak.”
·Canadian French (Québécois): Petit parleur, grand faiseur, or “Says little, does much.”
Although these transcreated slogans are different, they all communicate the same idea brilliantly: the little device is capable of so much!
Companies and individuals seeking translation services for marketing purposes in international markets need to consider whether they want to go with marketing translation or transcreation. Getting a professional opinion is highly recommended because a mistake in decision making can cost a lot of money in the future. Both marketing translation and transcreation can serve a company really well when it comes to conveying their marketing message in the international markets.
If a company’s marketing narrative is simpler and easily adaptable, it can go with marketing translation when penetrating different markets. As explained above, the main aim of marketing translation is to communicate the same message in a different language but in a culturally acceptable way. Another reason why marketing translation may be preferred is that it does not require a lot of time. If the company is short on time or has limited resources to go for an extensive transcreation overhaul, it can go for marketing translation.
If a company’s marketing narrative is complex (has a lot of subliminal messages, idioms, puns) and the company is flexible in changing the message for different markets for a deeper impact, it can go for transcreation. Transcreation is the best approach when a company wants a specific reaction and outcome from a target market and the intention of marketing and outcomes vary for different markets.
In either way, delivering the message correctly is imperative. For this reason, a company must only select professional translation services.
Torjoman is a well-established translation company with 25 years of solid experience in the field. We offer exceptional marketing translation and transcreation services for projects of all sizes. We have a large team of expert linguists who understand the linguistic challenges and cultural nuances to create highly appropriate translations for multiple international markets in +120 languages.
Torjoman also offers an extremely cost-effective solution to companies of all sizes. With our broad experience and successful portfolio, your project can never go wrong. Our native translators are the best with different work experience and specializations as we cater to translations of all fields.
If you’re not sure whether you want to go with marketing translation or transcreation, we can help you determine after discussing your project in detail. Get a free custom quote for unmatched translation service that fits your budget.