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What Are The Differences Between Translation And Transcreation?

Posted by Anne Q. on November 22, 2019.

Can you tell the difference between Translation and Transcreation? To most people, Translation and Transcreation are quite similar. Some think Transcreation is just a fancy word for Translation. The truth is, they are two distinctive terms and should be used for specific cases to bring the best results.

1. Translation

Translation is the process of rendering words from a source language to a target language. The ultimate goal of translation is to guarantee the meanings and accuracy of the source documents. In a translation task, translators must make sure that the grammar, sentence structures, and author’s tone remain identical to the words in source files. Of course, some minor changes can be done to avoid social nuances or cultural conflicts.

Translation is mostly used for business papers or life-science/IT documents whose accuracy is of top priority. Translators are also required to have qualifications and insights into a specific domain such as medical, legal, accountancy, or automobile.

Meanwhile, some translators want to express their creativity through their translations, especially for marketing or advertising campaigns. That’s when transcreation comes into play.


2. The differences between Translation and Transcreation

Transcreation is one step beyond translation. It is about understanding and feeling the source text’s spirits and then recreating it into a new language. Transcreation is everything but using the exact grammar structures or word-for-word translation of the source documents. Creators are free to create unique, original, and creative content as long as it evokes the feelings and actions to engage with the brands from audiences.

What is Transcreation

One question might pop up in your head “Why bother transcreating the message while you can hire a copywriter to create a completely new one?” Well asked. It might be more cost-effective if you count on a copywriter instead of a transcreator.

But that’s not the case. Most clients expect the core meaning or feeling of the source text maintain in the target translation. So it requires more than a copywriter. What’s needed here is a person who knows the ins and outs of two languages as well as the insights into the target market to create a message that receives the same reactions from the audiences.