Transcreation is in vogue❤️ And so are a few myths around this creative translation service oftentimes mixed with marketing translation, copywriting and other similar services.
So I've decided to try and demystify some key prejudices and stereotypes around transcreation and transcreators. For the purpose of denaturalising such misconceptions, I will exaggerate them a little and present them as universal truths.
Let's start with one of my favourites:
#1: Transcreation is basically going beyond the source text without fear, without limits, without restraint.
Well, no. Not really. Let me give you an example drawn straight from real life: today, I happen to be working on two high visibility, super-exciting transcreation projects that have this one key thing in common: the final transcreated content will run on branded apps.
Just how challenging do you think it is to transcreate content (whether it be from English into Spanish, as in my case, or in any other language pair) when the target media is an app?
I’ll sum it up in one key strategy that I know I must struggle to apply: Stick to the same (or almost) number of characters with spaces as used in the source WHILE reflecting all key, value-added product features in target.
This means that if I manage to stick to character limits but that implies omitting a key product feature, I’ll have to conjure up a new, different, better version into Spanish so that my transcreation does not only fit target media layout but also includes all those reasons why the product in question is a must-have.
Vice versa, if my transcreation is stellar from the point of view of style, fluidity, creativity, etc., but is way too long or too short, I'll have to give up on that version, no matter how great I think it is, and come up with a new one that sort of strikes a balance and achieves the best of both worlds.
So, (un)fortunately, transcreation is not about giving absolutely free reign to your drive for creativity. There's much more to this specific translation service than meets the eye.
Want to learn more about transcreation as a service? Think you could use it for your brand's messaging?
I'm Delfina Morganti Hernández and I am the creator and host of Founded in Transcreation, the first podcast🎧 on transcreation, where I delve into how brands cross borders. Listen to the podcast on Anchor, Spotify and YouTube.