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Transcreation, a vital procedure for marketing translations

Each time we handle marketing or PR related projects, it is crucial to adapt the source message to the cultural characteristics of the target language and audience. The marketing message must have the same impact and generate the same actions regardless of the language it is written in, especially when it needs to be integrated in a global strategy.

Ironically, local actions adapted to the target cultural group are the key to an efficient global marketing. Globalization through localization, this is how things work within multinational companies whose marketing strategies are adapted to the needs of their different markets. Specialized translations have a vital role in this ironical process, where transcreation means rephrasing or even rewriting from scratch the marketing message: the basic meaning of the source message is kept, while its form and approach are modified so that the whole message generate the effect for which it was created. The translator must have a special sense for linguistic subtleties of the source language and must “wrap” the message into an adequate linguistic structure which makes the message understood in the same way in any language. Transcreation is the process of recreating the form of the message. It is based on people’s reaction and its impact upon the receiver, ensuring the coherence and consistency of the entire marketing strategy of companies.

Transcreation plays a critical role in quality assurance process for marketing translation services. Although this process can be used in several specialized fields, it applies particularly to marketing, as this is the only field which allows for enough linguistic flexibility and consequently the full usage of transcreation process. All other specialized fields have technical terminology and a fairly rigid wording which hinder rewriting the entire text or too large fragments.

Transcreation can only be used in specific fields which allow for a play on words and a flexible wording and aim at relating to the reader. This is exactly what marketing translations is about.

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