There are no shortcuts to brand globalization. The first step of entering a new market or branding journey, and the adjustment of brand elements can determine your success or failure. In a relatively short period of time, can the brand stay on top of the audience’s mind? Are your products and services pleasant to the customers? Can the marketing effort be carried out smoothly? Many companies rely on good transcreation in their copywriting strategies.

Why is this? Let’s take a look at the following example:

“It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.” -Perdue’s tagline

Spanish Transcreation: “Se necesita un hombre potente para que un pollo sea afectuoso” (It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate)

Chinese Literal Translation: “做一个嫩鸡需要一个硬汉。”  (Back Translation:-.To make a tender chicken, need a tough man.)

Revised Chinese Transcreation: “鲜嫩鸡肉,源自艰苦的努力。(Tender chicken comes from hard work.)

If we use the Spanish transcreation or the Chinese literal translation, how would the response of the new market be? It might bring a negative impact to the audience due to the inappropriate context of improper translation. Take the Chinese literal translation as an example, the term “做一个嫩鸡” is not only idiomatic but may be interpreted as a suggestive innuendo, which does not fit the brand image of Perdue.

Imagine, if we used « Tender chicken comes from hard work » as the first shot to open up new markets, wouldn’t the response be different?

A good transcreation is like a sharp sword, which can help a brand to be invincible and quickly expand its territory, and remarkable marketing copywriting is an essential key to entering the target market effectively.

The difference between translation and transcreation

Different from the traditional translation work that requires faithful translation that stays true to the source only, transcreation is a highly creative translation process. For transcreation, the source is only the starting point. Transcreation needs to be inspired and re-created based on the understanding and comprehension of the source, so that the translation not only retains the spirit of the original text, but also fits the new market, so as to achieve the effect of brand promotion. This is what the  « Trans+Creation » process is . 

Compared with transcreation, translation is more suitable for documents such as contracts or operation manuals. For the brand, product and service promotion content involved in brand marketing, transcreation is often required.

3 Factors of a Good Transcreation Project

Preserve the original intent of the source. To produce good transcreation, reproduce its emotion, style, and voice. It is difficult to replace such a process with machine translation, as it is often ineffective. Thinking about the original intention of the copy, conveying the concept accurately, and being deeply rooted in consciousness is the key. Therefore, a native translator is always the first choice of the project. Let’s look at a small piece of transcreation that conveys emotion, style, and impact:

Back translation: The future of health, wear it on your wrist now.

Consider cultural elements and audience responses. The slogan of Electrolux vacuum cleaners is « Nothing sucks like an Electrolux » in the United Kingdom, meaning the effect of Electrolux vacuuming is unparalleled, but if this slogan arrives in the United States, it may have the opposite effect, because « suck » in American colloquialism has a negative connotation, meaning that it is of a inferior quality. Therefore, it is a good sample to show the importance of localization and transcreation. 

Make good use of the art of writing and wordplay. Take advantage of the art of writing, such as anaphora, contrast, alignment, change, rhyme and so on  in the target language and interact with the target audiences.

Since the nature of gaming localization allows larger room for creativity, it involves a lot of transcreation.

Featured 6 gaming localization samples2.jpg

Good transcreation requires a lot of practice. Here is one  of the outstanding work from our talented linguists in Langlink: 

 

Be happy, my soul, let go of all worries.

Soon the place of your yearnings will be reached. 

The town of palms, Bagamoyo.

Far away, how my heart was aching

Be quiet, my heart, all worries are gone.

 The drum beats, and with rejoicing

 we are reaching Bagamoyo.

– Song of the Caravan Porters

(circa 19th century, original in Swahili)

我心欢欣,舍去烦忧。

心之所期,指日可至。

棕榈之城,巴加莫约。

路途迢迢,思慕悠悠。

我心安宁,烦忧皆逝。

鼓声渐闻,心生雀跃。

极目所致,巴加莫约。

商队搬运工之歌

 

Other examples from famous brands:

MasterCard – There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s MasterCard. 

萬事達—萬事皆可達,唯有情無價。

Apple – Think different 

蘋果 – 不同凡想

Coca-cola – Open Happiness

可口可樂 – 畅爽开怀

Why do you need Back Translation?

Back translation is also called reverse translation. It is a process of re-translating content from the target language back to its source language in literal terms.  Back translation is very helpful for the projects that involve taglines, slogans, titles, product names, clever phrases and puns. 

Back translation offers the content owner the opportunity to understand whether the translation is in line with the brand marketing strategy, to understand and control the content promoted in the target market, to avoid possible risks, and achieve the purpose of brand promotion. Generally, the translator will offer multiple options so the source content owner can make a decision that makes the most sense for the brand.

2 points we need to avoid when we are doing Transcreation.

  1. Exaggeration. Transcreation is not designed to hype brands in new markets. Exaggerated words are easy to give people the feeling of « bragging » and lead to disgust. The transcreation copy should conform to the brand DNA and product image, giving people a “professional and reliable” feeling.

  2. Blind creation. Customers usually provide pictures or scene references, while ignoring references is just like creating blindfolded. The professional approach is to refer as much as possible so that the result of the pictures and text complement and the visual effect will look great!

Transcreation service from LangLink

Langlink provides an ideal offer when you need to create content in a target language while preserving the original message for your worldwide customers. Our transcreation and copy adaptation services are supported by an experienced native linguist team with a background in marketing, advertising or the relevant subject area that ensures your translated text can have the right balance between a global message with a local.

Categories: Solutions

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